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Colombero S.,University of Turin | Bonelli E.,Museo Civico Federico Eusebio | Kotsakis T.,University Roma3 | Pavia G.,University of Turin | And 2 more authors.
Geobios | Year: 2013

The stratigraphic and paleoenvironmental context of the Verduno fossil vertebrate locality is discussed herein based on its rodent record. The Verduno section crops out in the southern part of the Tertiary Piedmont Basin (TPB), and can be included in the Messinian post-evaporitic Cassano Spinola Fm., chronologically corresponding to the so-called Lago-Mare event. Rodents are represented by a relatively rich assemblage. Murids are by far the most diverse and abundant, with at least four taxa, including the common Centralomys benericettii and Paraethomys meini, and the rare Apodemus gudrunae and Occitanomys sp. Cricetids are represented by a single species, Apocricetus cf. A. barrierei. Muscardinus aff. M. vireti appears to be the only glirid present at Verduno. The Verduno rodent assemblage shares some taxa with other Messinian post-evaporitic localities from Italy bearing continental vertebrate remains, such as Brisighella (central Italy) and Moncucco Torinese (NW Italy) (e.g., C. benericettii, P. meini) and, possibly, with Ciabòt Cagna (NW Italy). However, the general structure of these four Messinian assemblages displays substantial differences, which may reflect different palaeoenvironmental conditions. © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS.

Colombero S.,University of Turin | Angelone C.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Bonelli E.,Museo Civico Federico Eusebio | Carnevale G.,University of Turin | And 7 more authors.
Neues Jahrbuch fur Geologie und Palaontologie - Abhandlungen | Year: 2014

A considerable amount of vertebrate remains have been found in the upper Messinian Cassano Spinola Conglomerates Formation, which crops out along the Tanaro River near Verduno (Piedmont). The fossil-bearing deposits were deposited during the third stage of the Messinian Salinity Crisis (5.55-5.33 Ma) in connection with the 'Lago-Mare' event. Sedimentological evidence indicates that the deposition of this Formation originated in a variety of fresh- and brackish-water environments. This is the most diverse Late Miocene faunal community found in NW Italy up to now, and includes remains of fish (cyprinodontiforms and putative lophiiforms), amphibians (bufo-nids, ranids), reptiles (testudinids, geoemydids, lacertids, anguids, varanids, agamids, amphisbae-nians, scolecophidians, colubrids), birds (galliforms, accipitriforms and strigiforms) and mammals (proboscideans, perissodactyls, artiodactyls, carnivores, insectivores, rodents and lagomorphs). The tetrapod assemblages are consistent with the late Turolian age inferred based on sedimentological evidence and indicative of an open, semi-arid woodland savanna with at least modest, sparse fresh and brackish water bodies. The Verduno fossil assemblages share faunal similarities with coeval ones of southwest, central, and eastern Europe, as well as of peninsular Italy. Located at the crossroads between the two sides of the Mediterranean, northwestern Italy witnessed faunal exchanges between the different corners of the European continent. It was also on the access pathway to the Italian peninsula. The Verduno assemblage made it possible to track the migration of several taxa during latest Miocene across the whole southern Europe. © 2014 E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart, Germany.

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