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The last European varanid: demise and extinction of monitor lizards (Squamata, Varanidae) from Europe

AutorGeorgalis, Georgios L.; Villa, Andrea; Delfino, Massimo
Fecha de publicación2017
EditorTaylor & Francis
CitaciónJournal of Vertebrate Paleontology 37(2): e1301946 (2017)
ResumenRemains of a varanid lizard from the middle Pleistocene of the Tourkobounia 5 locality near Athens, Greece are described. The new material comprises cranial elements only (one maxilla, one dentary, and one tooth) and is attributed to Varanus, the genus to which all European Neogene varanid occurrences have been assigned. Previously, the youngest undisputed varanid from Europe had been recovered from upper Pliocene sediments. The new Greek fossils therefore constitute the youngest records of this clade from the continent. Despite being fragmentary, this new material enhances our understanding of the cranial anatomy of the last European monitor lizards and is clearly not referable to the extant Varanus griseus or Varanus niloticus, the only species that could be taken into consideration on a present-day geographic basis. However, these fossils could represent a survivor of the monitor lizards of Asian origin that inhabited Europe during the Neogene.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02724634.2017.1301946
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/153280
DOI10.1080/02724634.2017.1301946
ISSN0272-4634
E-ISSN1937-2809
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