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Volume 72, Issue 2


Review of the earliest Central European Ochotona (Mammalia: Lagomorpha), with a description of a new species from Poland

Łucja Fostowicz-Frelik
  • 1Institute of Paleobiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warsaw, Poland, and Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Paleontology, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-4080, USA
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Published Online: 2008-03-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/MAMM.2008.011


The fossil record of the Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene Ochotona in Central and Western Europe is sparse. Only a few species, confined mostly to the type localities, have been described from that period. The Villányian representatives include O. polonica (Zamkowa Dolna Cave, Poland) and O. dehmi (Schernfeld, Germany), whereas the Biharian representatives are O. horaceki (Honce, Slovakia), O. lazari (Gombasek, Slovakia) and O. valerotae (Les Valerots, France). The ochotonid material from Poland, yielding the most comprehensive evidence of the earliest Central European Ochotona is presented. In addition, the Biharian record is complemented by O. zabiensis sp. nov. from Żabia Cave (Poland). The p3 occlusal pattern and mandibular characters fully support erecting a new species. On the other hand, O. dehmi is synonymized with O. polonica and O. valerotae treated as a subspecies. The Villányian and Biharian pikas with relatively elongated p3, well-defined trigonid, long posteroconid, and the slender, low mandible form a conspicuous phylogenetic lineage. This lineage became extinct at the end of Biharian, and differs significantly from steppe pika, O. pusilla, widespread in Europe during the Last Glaciation. O. lazari and O. horaceki share many similarities with this species and are included into the O. pusilla lineage.

Keywords: Biharian; Lagomorpha; Ochotona zabiensis sp. nov.; taxonomy; Villányian

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Published Online: 2008-03-17

Published in Print: 2008-06-01

Citation Information: mammalia, Volume 72, Issue 2, Pages 71–81, ISSN (Online) 1864-1547, ISSN (Print) 0025-1461, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/MAMM.2008.011.

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