Tuesday, April 17, 2018

On the presence of Late Pleistocene wapiti, Cervus canadensis Erxleben, 1777 (Cervidae, Mammalia) in the Palaeolithic site Climăuți II (Moldova)

Roman Croitor, Theodor Obada

Contributions to Zoology, 87 (1) 1-10 (2018)
(Link) pdf

Abstract

This article reports antler remains from the Late Paleolithic site of Climăuți II (Republic of Moldova) confirming the presence of wapiti Cervus canadensis in the Late Pleistocene of Western Eurasia. The occurrence of wapiti in the East Carpathian area by 20 ky BP coincides with the local extinction of Megaloceros giganteus, Crocuta spelaea, and Ursus spelaeus, and substitution of local forest reindeer with grazing tundra-steppe Rangifer tarandus constantini. We here provide an overview of paleontological data and opinions on the presence of Cervus canadensis in Europe, a discussion on the taxonomic status and systematic position of the extinct deer Cervus elaphus palmidactyloceros, and propose a dispersal model for wapiti in Europe during the Late Pleistocene.

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