The distinctive features and fossil content of some caves from eastern Sicily (San Teodoro, Donnavilla, Fulco, Taormina, Tremilia, Spinagallo), altogether spanning from the middle Pleistocene until the beginning of the Holocene, are discussed. Although dating on vertebrate and/or invertebrate remains is available in few instances, coastal notches and marine terraces correlate with the caves, provide further chronological constraint. The San Teodoro and Spinagallo caves are the best known, whereas the Tremilia cave deserves to be better analysed. Most caves, but not the San Teodoro one (including only terrestrial faunas), testify to the transition from submarine coastal environments (documented by biogenic crusts, borings, shelly sediments), to continental conditions (vertebrate remains of the Paleoloxodon falconeri, Maccagnone and San Teodoro Faunistic Complexes). The fossil register preserved in these cavities represents a source of information useful to (1) reconstruct the palaeogeography of Sicily and its coastline, largely resulting from the interplay between tectonic and sea-level changes linked to climate fluctuations; and (2) the consequent evolution of the terrestrial biota, including the dominance of insular endemic taxa later replaced by species shared with continental Italy, after the establishment of temporary connection through the Messina Strait.

Pleistocene Caves of Eastern Sicily Coast: Exceptional Archives to Reconstruct the History of the Island's Biota

Rosso, A;Sanfilippo, R
2022-01-01

Abstract

The distinctive features and fossil content of some caves from eastern Sicily (San Teodoro, Donnavilla, Fulco, Taormina, Tremilia, Spinagallo), altogether spanning from the middle Pleistocene until the beginning of the Holocene, are discussed. Although dating on vertebrate and/or invertebrate remains is available in few instances, coastal notches and marine terraces correlate with the caves, provide further chronological constraint. The San Teodoro and Spinagallo caves are the best known, whereas the Tremilia cave deserves to be better analysed. Most caves, but not the San Teodoro one (including only terrestrial faunas), testify to the transition from submarine coastal environments (documented by biogenic crusts, borings, shelly sediments), to continental conditions (vertebrate remains of the Paleoloxodon falconeri, Maccagnone and San Teodoro Faunistic Complexes). The fossil register preserved in these cavities represents a source of information useful to (1) reconstruct the palaeogeography of Sicily and its coastline, largely resulting from the interplay between tectonic and sea-level changes linked to climate fluctuations; and (2) the consequent evolution of the terrestrial biota, including the dominance of insular endemic taxa later replaced by species shared with continental Italy, after the establishment of temporary connection through the Messina Strait.
cave habitats
invertebrates
mammals
terraces
palaeobiogeography
Quaternary
Mediterranean basin
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/542806
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