Mangano, G.
Cervus elaphus siciliae from Pleistocene lacustrine deposits of Acquedolci (North-Eastern Sicily, Italy) and its taphonomic significance

Geo.Alp 2, 2005, p. 61–70

Systematic excavations carried out on the Pleistocene lacustrine deposits of Acquedolci (North-Eastern Sicily, Italy) yelded a very rich fossil vertebrate assemblage, containing thousands of remains of Hippopotamus pentlandi, the endemic hippo of the Siculo-Maltese archipelago, associated with remains of Cervus elaphus siciliae and scarce remains of Ursus cf. arctos, Canis lupus, Testudo cf. hermanni, Elephas mnaidriensis and Aves. This paper presents a morphological, biometrical and taphonomical analysis of Cervus elaphus siciliae remains. Morphological and biometrical features are in the range of the variability of Cervus elaphus siciliae Pohlig, the endemic deer of Sicily which is characterized by a slightly smaller size compared to the populations of the Italian peninsula. Taphonomical features, such as spatial distribution and orientation of the remains, composition of the skeletal part, age distribution, degree of skeletal articulation, fragmentation and bone modification, indicate that Cervus elaphus siciliae remains did not accumulate “in situ”, unlike the autochthonous remains of Hippopotamus pentlandi, but probably they were occasionally deposited in the lacustrine basin as fragments of carcasses belonging to the animals inhabiting the surrounding area.

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