New article published by Uzunidis, A., Rivals, F., Rufà, A., Blasco, R., & Rosell, J. in Diversity .
In this article we announce the discovery of the first remains of Megaloceros giganteus found in Catalonia (north-eastern Iberia) from the Late Pleistocene: a fragment of maxillary. Dated between 35,000 and 37,000 cal BP, it is also among the youngest occurrence of this taxon in the Iberian Peninsula, while its last known occurrence is dated to the Neolithic period. Through a comparison with the giant deer of the northern Pyrenees, we analyzed the herbivore guilds in which this taxon was associated to understand the context in which it was able to enter the Iberian Peninsula. By comparing its diet with those of specimens from Northern Europe, we detail the ecological adaptations of this taxon in this new environment. We suggest that Megaloceros accompanied the migrations of cold-adapted species by taking advantage of the opening of corridors on both sides of the Pyrenees during the coldest periods of the Late Pleistocene. The diet of the Iberian individuals, which is oriented towards abrasive plants, suggests an adaptation to a different ecological niche than that found in Northern European individuals. The northern Iberian Peninsula may have been an extreme in the geographical expansion of M. giganteus. More specimens will be needed in the future to establish the variability of the southern Megaloceros populations.
More info: https://doi.org/10.3390/d15020299