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The Paradise Lost of Milia (Grevena, Greece; Late Pliocene, Early Villafranchian, MN15/MN16a): Faunal Composition and Diversity

CONICET and Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio, Av. Fontana 140, 9100 Trelew, Chubut, Argentina
School of Geology, Faculty of Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University Campus, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Muséum Requien, 67 Rue Joseph Vernet, 84000 Avignon, France
UMR 5608 TRACES, Université Jean Jaurès, 31058 Toulouse CEDEX 1, France
UFR des Sciences de la Terre, Université Claude-Bernard-Lyon-1, 69100 Villeurbanne, France
Natural History Museum Rotterdam, 3015 AA Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
In memoriam of Prof. Claude Guérin, who passed away on 22 August 2016.
Academic Editors: Maria Rita Palombo and Gavin Prideaux
Quaternary 2018, 1(2), 13;
Received: 20 June 2018 / Revised: 31 July 2018 / Accepted: 3 August 2018 / Published: 9 August 2018
(1) Background: Over the last decades, important fossil records of Late Pliocene mammals and reptiles have been unearthed in Milia, Grevena (N Greece). This assemblage shows a remarkable composition and diversity, including the partial skeletons of mastodons that reached record-breaking sizes, abundant rhinos—the first occurrence of this species in Greece—and some new species; (2) Methods: We perform a thorough quantitative analysis of the recovered assemblage, presenting the information of the various collection spots in Milia, and calculate various biodiversity indices for each spot; (3) Results: Our research has revealed the vast majority of expected taxa in the assemblage. We argue that the various sub-localities in Milia could be grouped into a larger, composite assemblage representing a short period. We analyze the diversity changes through the various localities in Milia and highlight potential barriers that could affect the distribution of taxa; (4) Conclusions: We re-affirm the Early Villafranchian affinities of the fauna. In particular, Milia should date at MN16a, with a surprising presence of some more archaic, Ruscinian taxa. The fossils of Milia depict a Late Pliocene paradise in the Southern Balkans; a paradise, unfortunately, lost with the onset of the dramatic climate changes of the Quaternary. View Full-Text
Keywords: Villafranchian; Ruscinian; mastodon; turtle; alpha and beta diversity Villafranchian; Ruscinian; mastodon; turtle; alpha and beta diversity
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Vlachos, E.; Tsoukala, E.; Crégut-Bonnoure, E.; Guérin, C.; Mol, D. The Paradise Lost of Milia (Grevena, Greece; Late Pliocene, Early Villafranchian, MN15/MN16a): Faunal Composition and Diversity. Quaternary 2018, 1, 13.

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