Museu Balear de Ciencies Naturals

Palma, Spain

Museu Balear de Ciencies Naturals

Palma, Spain

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This paper describes the presence of insect traces that appear in large quantities at the Pliocene - lower Pleistocene dune formations in Mallorca. We discuss two hypotheses about possible producers. It also reveals the mystery about the origin of these fossil traces that had been previously attributed to enigmatic organisms, faecal pellets or coprolites of Myotragus sp., are really insect trace fossils, attributable to the beetles pupation cameras. The presence of these fossil traces has a clear palaeoclimatic meaning which can be derived stratigraphic dating.

Mas G.,Museu Balear de Ciencies Naturals | Obrador A.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Fernandez M.,Cami Vell de Sant Climent | Quintana J.,Autonomous University of Barcelona
Bolleti de la Societat d'Historia Natural de les Balears | Year: 2010

The presence of the longirostrine crocodilian Tomistoma cf. lusitanica (Vianna & Moraes, 1945) in the Lower Tortonian of Menorca (Baleares Islands, Spain) is recorded. This is a stenotherm, tropical form whose palaeoecologic contribution to characterize deltaic-torrential environments is discussed. The presence of these Miocene crocodilians is an excellent biological indicator of the tropical and/or subtropical conditions that prevailed during Lower Tortonian in Menorca. Also it provides a review and collection of reptile fossils dating from the Balearic Islands.

Pons G.X.,University of the Balearic Islands | Vadell M.,Museu Balear de Ciencies Naturals
Monografies de la Societat d'Historia Natural de les Balears | Year: 2011

In the caves of the Balearic Islands over 300 species of invertebrates (including terrestrial and aquatic species) are known until today. Of these, approximately 50 can be considered genuinely troglobiontic species. Over half of these are endemic species unique to the Islands, a percentage large enough in evolutionary terms to give an idea of its great heritage value and interest in its preservation. The cave organisms constitute a very important part of the catalog of endemic fauna in the Balearic Islands. Since Racovitza described Typhlocirolana moraguesi in 1905, the first step in the new science of biospeleology, have been many scientists who have penetrated to the caves in search of new and enigmatic species. The Balearics were also the birthplace of the discipline with the interest and constant presence of local researchers in national and international scientific publications. Since 1905 there have been many papers published on the ongoing findings of cave species. For the preparation of this article have been selected terrestrial cave species that are new to the catalogs of taxa published since 1995 (publication date of the monograph Endins 20) or those species that are important regarding biogeography, particularly the endemisms.

Mateu-Vicens G.,University Of Les Ules Balears | Sebastian T.,Museu Balear de Ciencies Naturals | Khokhlova A.,University Of Les Ules Balears | Del Mar Leza M.,University Of Les Ules Balears | Deudero S.,Spanish Institute of Oceanography
Journal of Foraminiferal Research | Year: 2016

Epiphytic foraminifera are important components of the seagrass-meadow biota. These foraminifera previously were categorized, based upon their ecological and feeding strategies, into four morphotypes that were subsequently modified to include a new morphotype for the symbiont-bearing foraminifera. We propose further modifications to increase the ecological resolution. Thus, the A∗ morphotype splits into leaf-encrusting forms (AF∗) and rhizome encrusting taxa (AR∗). Similarly, the symbiont-bearing morphotype has been separated into Large Miliolids (LM) that host a variety of algal symbionts, and Large Rotalids (LR) that exclusively host diatoms. B and C morphotypes remain as they were originally defined, whilst D∗ morphotype does not include symbiont-bearing taxa and represents opportunistic forms. To determine the trophic strategy of the epiphytic morphotypes, the cytoplasmic nitrogen and carbon stable-isotope signals from two localities of Mallorca (Sa Foradada and Sant Elm) and one from Madagascar were analysed. The most abundant morphotype reported in Mallorca localities was B (38% + 4.3 in Sa Foradada and 45% ± 4.2 in Sant Elm), followed by AF∗ (34% ± 4.6 in Sa Foradada and 41% ± 1.0 in Sant Elm). In Madagascar, the most abundant morphotype is D∗ (45% ± 10), and symbiont-bearing morphotypes (LM and LR) were considerably more abundant than at the Mediterranean locations. Among all samples, the δ15N values ranged between 0.5 and 3‰ δ13C values varied between-18 and-0.9‰. An MDS statistical analysis showed that variability in the δ15N and δ13C isotopes is associated with differences among the morphotypes and likely reflects their feeding strategies. A SIMPER analysis of the isotopie composition revealed minimal differences within the sessile (AF∗ and AR∗) and within the symbiont-bearing (LM and LR) morphotypes, indicating similar trophic strategies within each pair, largely based upon cyanobacteria as a food source. These foraminifera perform "farming" of (cyano)bacteria, fungi and diatoms, which constitute the essential components of their diet. The LM-LR morphotypes also receive organic carbon from their algal symbionts. The δ15N and δ13C values of the motile B and D∗ morphotypes are highly variable, indicative of diverse food sources, including cyanobacteria, fungi, microalgae and particulate organic matter (phytodetritus). The δ15N in the C morphotype are more enriched and δ13C more depleted (3‰ and-10‰, respectively) than in the sessile morphotypes. Consistent with observations of other epiphytic, sessile organisms, cyanobacteria seem to be a very important food source.Grant: We are grateful to Pamela Hallock who, with her inestimable help, comments and suggestions, has contributed to significantly improve the original manuscript. Maite Vázquez (IEO), Elvira Alvarez and Michel Sebastián are acknowledged for their collaboration in the sampling. We also thank to Carme Alomar (IEO) and Biel Martorell (UIB) for their help in the isotopie analyses. We also acknowledge the reviewers David Haig and Patrick Schwing for their suggestions that have improved the manuscript.

Gornals G.M.,Museu Balear de Ciencies Naturals | Diaz F.E.,Sant Antoni Maria Claret 52 | Cardona J.Q.,Autonomous University of Barcelona
Batalleria | Year: 2013

A unique tooth of Delphinidae from the Lower Tortonian (Upper Miocene) of the bioturbated packstones (inner ramp) located in Torre d'en Penjat (Es Castell, south eastern end of the island of Menorca) is described. This was the first discovery of a Delphinidae in the Balearic Neogene. The length of the tooth is in accordance with the variation range of Etruridelphis giulii Lawley, 1876 (=Steno bellardii Portis, 1886) from the Italian Pliocene. However, the maximum diameter of the root in this specimen is swiftly thickness. Despite the Upper Miocene chronology, the possibility that the tooth belonged to a species described in the Italian or Iberian Peninsula Pliocene cannot be discarded, given that some of the Upper Miocene marine species appeared in Pliocene sediments, once the Messinian regressive episode finished.

Mateu-Vicens G.,University Of Les Ules Balears | Khokhlova A.,Museu Balear de Ciencies Naturals | Sebastian-Pastor T.,Museu Balear de Ciencies Naturals
Journal of Foraminiferal Research | Year: 2014

Mediterranean infralittoral soft bottoms are dominated by extensive seagrass meadows of the endemic phanerogam Posidonia oceánica (L.) Delile. Both leaves and rhizomes are substrates suitable for colonization by a vast array of epiphytic organisms, including foraminifera. Epiphytic foraminifera are very useful bioindicators, because of their relatively short life cycles and their quick reaction to environmental changes at global and local scales. To evaluate the environmental conditions reflected by the foraminiferal assemblages in P. occa///cii-dominated environments, the FORAM Index (FI) has been slightly modified to include changes to the ecological categories defined in the original Langer A-D morphotype scheme. Sensitive, long-lived species are now represented by the SB and A*groups; the stresstolerant taxa correspond to D*; and the small heterotrophic forms are still represented by B and C. Consequently, the FI was modified as follows: FI' = 10 X (PA*+PSB) + PD* + 2 X (P B+Pc). The Posidonia oceánica foraminiferal assemblage contains very abundant B and C forms that remain more or less constant regardless of environmental conditions as they do not have as strict requirements for light and substrate as the A*and SB groups. Moreover, B and C taxa are not as well-adapted to stressful conditions as is D*. Therefore, to magnify the differences between, a priori, minimally altered and stressed areas, a new index is calculated. The "long vs. short life span" index (ILS)*which is expressed as: ILS = (3.5 X (PA. + PSB) + 0.01) / (PD. + 0.01). Index ILS has a high correlation with the modified FORAM Index, which was developed to characterize water quality. Index ILS*can be used as a reference for the quality assessment and preservation of P. oceánica meadows.

Palmer M.,CSIC - Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies | Pons G.X.,University of the Balearic Islands | Outerelo R.,Complutense University of Madrid | Vives E.,San Antoni 73 | And 5 more authors.
Bolleti de la Societat d'Historia Natural de les Balears | Year: 2012

Inventory-based approaches (i.e., those that directly relate species richness to explanatory variables) do not work on the medium and local scale that was studied in this paper; even when ecologically-meaningful environmental predictors were used. The use of an alternative approach (Taxon-based diversity mapping) is proposed. This approach starts by modelling the probability of occurrence of twelve target endemic species using environmental variables as predictors. Next, it projects the probability of occurrence from 48 sampled sites to a grid of 532 1-km2 units. Finally, the approach estimates endemic species richness at these 532 1-km2 units by overlapping the twelve maps inferred. We also propose a new approach whose purpose is to detect possible false absences and unstable presences. These doubtful observations were excluded from ecological niche modelling. In addition to species richness, the patterns experienced by species composition were analysed. Species composition experienced strong changes (i.e., large turnover), while species richness remained constant. This stasis in species richness is neither related to low environmental variability (both the biotic and abiotic scenarios are diverse) nor to the lack of species-environment relationships (not only species composition but also species-specific responses are correlated with environment). The area studied is environmentally diverse and species turnover of the macroinvertebrate community was moderate to large. Species composition was significantly correlated with environment (minimum temperature). The predicted number of target endemic species per cell in 92% of the studied area fell between 3 and 5. Therefore Taxonbased diversity mapping has been confirmed as a valid alternative to conventional inventory-based diversity mapping. Additionally, the new procedure proposed here for dealing with noisy presence/absence data produces more accurate distributional maps of individual species.

De Gibert J.M.,University of Barcelona | Mas G.,Museu Balear de Ciencies Naturals | Ekdale A.A.,University of Utah
Lethaia | Year: 2012

Unusual helical trace fossils occur in Tortonian shelfal calcarenites in the island of Mallorca. Their morphology may be either simple (ichnogenus Gyrolithes) or, more commonly, consist of two concentric helical burrows (ichnogenus Lapispira). They bear a very characteristic pelleted lining and are associated and probably connected to Thalassinoides and Ophiomorpha burrow systems very abundant in the same unit. These features allow the interpretation that the tracemaker was a thalassinidean shrimp. The complex and compound nature of these trace fossils is comparable to that seen in other modern and fossil crustacean burrow systems, and it reflects the behavioural plasticity of the architects. □Trace fossils, ichnology, ichnofabrics, crustacean burrows, Miocene, shallow marine, Lapispira. © 2012 The Authors, Lethaia © 2012 The Lethaia Foundation.

A new formally stratigraphic unit named Ses Olles Formation located at top of the upper Messinian and at base of the Pliocene marine succession in the island of Mallorca has been distinguished, defined and characterized. This unit is made up of lutites, marls and sandy marls containing charofites, rich mollusc faunas characterized by bivalves Lymnocardiinae and Dreissenidae of Paratethyan origin and non-marine gastropods, and low diversified ostracod faunas of Paratethyan affinity, typical of oligo-low mesohaline shallow waters. The stratigraphical position and the paleontological data restrict the age of the former to the late Messinian. The age and environmental conditions correlate these deposits with the Lago-Mare event occurring throughout the Mediterranean before the marine flooding at the beginning of the Pliocene.

FORNoS J.J.,University of the Balearic Islands | GRaCIA F.,Grup Nord Mallorca | Mas G.,Museu Balear de Ciencies Naturals | Vicens D.,Societat DHistoria Natural de les Balears
Bolleti de la Societat d'Historia Natural de les Balears | Year: 2015

Recent speleological survey in the flooded passages of Cova des Dolç (Colònia de Sant Jordi, Mallorca) had permitted the description of the sedimentary Pliocene-Quaternary transition in the southeastern sector of the Campos basin. It corresponds to a regressive sequence characterized by the transition from shallow marine bioturbated facies, brackish waters environments and aeolian deposition. The cave is sculptured on the bioclastic calcarenites than form the aeolianites, being this the more characteristic and differential trend with the other coastal caves which develop on Late Miocene reefal limestones in the llevant and migjorn areas of Mallorca.

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