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Koufos G.D.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki | Vasileiadou K.,Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest
Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments

Even though there are numerous late Miocene mammal localities in the southern Balkans, those of late Turolian and early Ruscinian age are uncommon. Using the available data, mainly from Greece and Bulgaria, we compiled information about the faunal and palaeoenvironmental changes at the Miocene/Pliocene boundary. The analysis of the faunal elements indicates that several Miocene taxa disappeared, whereas new taxa appeared. The faunal composition of the mammal zones suggests a decrease of the bovids and giraffids and an increase of cervids and suids from MN 12 to MN 14. The available faunal assemblages from zones MN 12–MN 14 are compared with a set of modern and fossil assemblages from known environments to determine their palaeoenvironment. The results indicate an increase of the closed character of the environment from MN 12 to MN 14, suggesting a gradual increase of the humidity and the development of more forestial conditions. The rodent faunas from northern Greece ranging from MN 13 to MN 14 show a characteristic aridification of the biotopes and the introduction of African elements in the last part of the MN 13 (during the Messinian Salinity Crisis), with a subsequent return of humid-and/or-forested biotopes towards the MN 13/14 boundary. The faunal and sedimentological data for the Greek localities correlated with the Turolian/Ruscinian boundary suggests a general open landscape with several water spots of variable sizes surrounded by dense forests. © 2015, Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Vasileiadou K.,Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest | Vasileiadou K.,University of Aegean | Zouros N.,University of Aegean
Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments

A new locality with terrestrial microfossils, named Lapsarna (LRN), has been found on the West Peninsula of the island of Lesvos (Greece). Among other fossils (i.e. lacustrine pulmonate gastropod, lacustrine fish, small lizard and crocodilian isolated remains), isolated teeth of small mammals, belonging to the Orders Chiroptera, Insectivora and Rodentia, have been found. The rodent material allows the identification of one species of Eumyarion, one species of Democricetodon and the glirid Glirulus cf. diremptus, whereas the bat and insectivore material is too scanty to allow generic identification. Radiochronological data suggest that the new locality is older than 18.4±0.5 Ma. This makes Lapsarna one of the oldest small mammal localities in Greece so far known. The study of the new fossils can lead to a preliminary basis for the reconstruction of life in the subtropical forests that covered the area during the early Miocene. © Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer 2012. Source

Vasileiadou K.,Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest | Konidaris G.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki | Koufos G.D.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments

A micromammalian fauna recovered about 15 years ago from an argillaceous bed on the south-western coast of Lake Vistonis (Xanthi-Komotini Basin, Thrace, NE Greece) and partially determined in Syrides et al. (Comptes Rendus Acad Sci Paris 324(2):427-433, 1997) has been thoroughly re-examined. The small (number of identified specimens 0 112) but rather diverse (at least in terms of rodents) collection of isolated teeth has revealed the presence of Asoriculus gibberodon, Deinsdorfia kerkhoffi, Soricidae indet., Leporidae indet., Prolagus michauxi, Pliopetaurista dehneli, Myomimus maritsensis, Murinae indet., Occitanomys adroveri, Apodemus cf. dominans, Apodemus gorafensis, Rhagapodemus primaevus, Micromys steffensi, Mesocricetus cf. primitivus, Pliospalax sp. and Pseudomeriones cf. rhodius. The composition of the fauna and comparisons with Turolian and Ruscinian mammalian faunas from the east Mediterranean area suggest a latest Turolian-earliest Ruscinian (MN13/14) age. The taxa favouring dry conditions represent 51.3% in the total MNI (20 of 39 individuals), those favouring wet conditions only 23.1% (9 of 39 individuals). In this overall dry land, the presence of a small water body is indicated by the presence of two (or three) soricid species and Micromys, whereas the record of Pliopetaurista dehneli indicates the presence of trees in the area. © Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer 2012. Source

Zouros N.,University of Aegean | Pavlides S.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki | Soulakellis N.,University of Aegean | Chatzipetros A.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki | And 3 more authors.

Seismic hazard is commonly assessed by using seismicity records and local geotechnical conditions. It is however important to accurately define the probable seismic sources of the broader study area and assess their seismic potential, as earthquake intensities are expected to increase in the close vicinity of active faults. Although onshore faults are considered more hazardous, due to their immediate proximity to inhabited areas, the offshore fault hazard is considerable too, due to their proximity to the islands. In this paper, the identified seismically active faults are used as main elements of an educational programme in the Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark to raise public awareness and sensitivity on seismic hazard. ©Springer-Verlag 2011. Source

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