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Migration of Hominins With Megaherbivores into Europe via the Danube-Po Gateway in the Late Matuyama Climate Revolution

Muttoni, Giovanni; Kent, Dennis V.; Scardia, Giancarlo; Monesi, Edoardo

We update critical reviews of sites bearing hominin
remains and/or tools from Europe (including the Balkans and Greece)
and conclude that the only compelling evidence of hominin presence in
these regions was after -0.9 Ma (million-years-ago), bracketed by the
end of the Jaramillo subchron (0.99 Ma) and the Brunhes/Matuyama
boundary (0.78 Ma) and straddling the climatic late Early Pleistocene
revolution (EPR) at the onset of enhanced glacialrmterglacial activity
that reverberated worldwide. Europe may have become initially populated
during the EPR when, possibly for the first time in the Pleistocene,
vast and exploitable ecosystems were generated along the Danube-
Po Gateway. These newly formed settings, characterized by lowlands
with open grasslands and reduced woody cover during glacial/
interglacial transitions, represented the closest analogues to the savanna
environment to which several large mammals linked with hominins in a
common food web were adapted. It was only after stable and vast
grassland-savanna environments opened that large mammals (e.g.
megaherbivores) could expand into Europe along the Danube-Po Gateway
in conjunction with the attached food web to which hominins
belonged.

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Title
Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafia

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Publisher
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra
Published Here
January 13, 2015
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