A new early Pliocene locality Tepe Alagoz (Turkey) reveals a distinctive tooth phenotype of Trischizolagus (Lagomorpha, Leporidae) in Asia Minor

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Cermak S., Joniak P., Rojay B.

PALAEONTOLOGIA ELECTRONICA, vol.22, no.1, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.26879/924
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Pliocene leporid remains are very rare in Anatolia, occurring sporadically only in a few localities. The new locality of Tepe Alagoz (cankin Basin) is the first reported Pliocene locality in Turkey with sufficiently rich leporid material for determination of morphometric variability in taxonomically important teeth. The locality also yielded remains of the rodents Occitanomys debruijni, Allocricetus cf. ehiki, Pseudomeriones hansi, and an ochotonid lagomorph. The assemblage suggests an early Pliocene age (MN14) of about the same age or somewhat older than that in igdeli (Sivas Basin). The medium-sized leporid is characterized by p3 of almost exclusively a "Nekrolagus" pattern with narrow anteroconid and very variable anteroflexid. It is associated with P2 bearing short paraflexus, long hypoflexus, and moderately developed mesoflexus, and 11 which is anteroposteriorly shortened with a shallow, V-shaped, cement-free anterior notch. The leporid was co-identified with Trischizolagus gambariani described from the coeval locality Nurnus (Armenia). A lectotype designation and emended diagnosis of the species are provided in this paper. The available fossil record of Trischizolagus indicates that the northwestern part of the peri-Paratethyan area was inhabited by T dumitrescuae, but to the south and southeast by distinct T gambariani. The only other proven finding of Trischizolagus from Anatolia was reported from Tozaklar (MN15), but due to the scarcity of fossil material a definite species determination is impossible.