Contribution of the late Miocene mammals from Calabria and Sicily to the palaeogeography of the central Mediterranean

Antonella Cinzia Marra


During Miocene, the paleogeography of the central Mediterranean area underwent significant modifications under control of Plate Tectonics. The area here considered occupies a southern position, rougly coincident with the Calabria-Peloritan Arc (CPA), located at the intersection between the NW/SE-trending southern Apennines and the SE-trending Sicilian Maghrebides. Land mammal assemblages can profitably be used in the paleogeographic reconstructions. The late Miocene assemblages form Central Italy and Sardinia allowed the recognition of the Tusco-Sardinia bioprovince as an isular domain for the endemic character of the fauna. The same conclusion has been reached for the Apulo-Abruzzi bioprovince, considered as an island during late Miocene. The recent studies on the mammal assemblage from Cessaniti (Calabria) revealed a continental character of the fauna, probably related to a land connection to Africa. The same datum comes from the assemblages of Gravitelli, Messinian in age, and from Monte Pellegrino (indirect datum). The Calabria-Sicily area can be considered a new bioprovince in the central Mediterranean during late Miocene.


paleogeography; late Miocene; Mammals

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