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Middle Pleistocene (Early Toringian) Carnivore Remains from Northern Israel

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Eitan Tchernov
Affiliation:
Department of Evolution, Systematics and Ecology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 91904, Jerusalem, Israel
Evangelia Tsoukala
Affiliation:
Department of Geology and Physical Geography, Aristotle University, 54006, Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece

Abstract

Seventy well-preserved fossil remains from deposits of an eroded karstic cave in the Upper Galilee of northern Israel includeUrsus deningeri(Ursidae),Canis lupus cf.mosbachensis (Canidae),Crocuta crocuta cf. praespelaea (Hyaenidae), Panthera leo cf. spelaea (Felidae), and Dama sp. (Cervidae). This assemblage probably dates to the Early Toringian (MQ2, Middle Pleistocene). Ursus deningeri and Panthera leo cf. spelaeahave never before been recorded south of the Taurus–Zagros mountain chain. We correlate the carnivore faunule with some Near Eastern and southern Levantine sites and assume that only a severe cold phase could have shifted these species over the Taurus–Zagros mountain chain this far to the south. Due to the relative scarcity of Middle Pleistocene assemblages, especially carnivores, in the southern Levant, the biogeographic connection between the southern Levant and the Near East is still not well known. This faunule elucidates Pleistocene biotic exchanges between Europe and the Levant during this period.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
University of Washington

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