The rhinoceros remains collected during the past century in the lower levels XII (= K) and XI (= I) of the famous Pleistocene locality of Grotta Romanelli (Lecce, southern Italy) are described and compared in detail for the first time. Some remains are referred to Stephanorhinus sp. and others are assigned here to the late early-middle Pleistocene European species Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis based on several morphological characters. Based on its olivine-bearing texture, the volcanoclastic ash sampled from some rhinoceros bones can be referred to the first phase of the Monte Vulture activity (around 630 ka). The results of the stable isotope analyses suggest that the climate in the lowest levels of Grotta Romanelli could have been more arid than it was at the time of the upper level IX, which is generally referred to the late Pleistocene. In addition, both recent day δ18Opptvalues and MAT are very similar to values calculated for levels X and XII, suggesting that the climate at those times may have been close to the Present one, whereas climate in level IX may have been somewhat cooler. The presence of Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis suggests a middle Pleistocene age for the lower levels of Grotta Romanelli, in agreement with the results obtained from the volcanoclastic material.
|Titolo:||Rhinocerotidae (Mammalia, Perissodactyla) from the middle Pleistocene levels of Grotta Romanelli (Lecce, southern Italy)|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||01a Articolo in rivista|