Quaternary Small Mammal Section
The small mammal remains and rodent gnaw-marks are investigated within the framework of the ongoing multi-disciplinary studies of the Lower Pleistocene site of Untermassfeld (see The Epivillafranchian of Untermassfeld, co-ordinated by R.-D. Kahlke). The analysis of the small mammals provides critical information that contributes to the interpretation of the biostratigraphical, palaeoecological and taphonomic context of the site. Until recently, the micromammal fossils consisted of isolated remains, but the latest excavations have recovered spectacularly well-preserved skeletons of several small mammal taxa, opening new possibilities for investigation.
R.-D. Kahlke (Senckenberg Weimar)
New exposures of the ‘Muschelton’ horizon at Voigtstedt/Hackelsberg (northern Thuringia) have been studied recently as part of a multi-disciplinary project. The Muschelton dates to an inverval between the Jaramillo Event and Matuyama/Brunhes Boundary, and thus represents a period of time poorly documented in Central Germany. Interdisciplinary appraisal of the botanical and faunal content are providing palaeoecological and biostratigraphical information relating to the ‘Artern Interglacial’, which is a temporal equivalent of the Muschelton sediments.
R.-D. Kahlke, F. Kienast, M. Stebich (Senckenberg Weimar), P. Frenzel (University of Jena), U. Hambach (University of Bayreuth), L. Katzschmann (Thuringian State Office for Environment and Geology, Jena), S. Meng (University of Greifswald), M. Thomas (BGR, Hannover), T. Henkel (University of Leipzig)
The small mammal remains from the early Middle Pleistocene site of West Runton, Norfolk England – the type locality of the Cromerian Interglacial – are being investigated. The main objectives are: paleoenvironmental reconstruction, and acquiring biometric data to infer biostratigraphic correlations with other small mammal faunas in Europe. The type material of 12 micromammal species described from West Runton is currently being checked for its validity.
S. Parfitt, A. J. Stuart, A. M. Lister (Natural History Museum London)
Late Pleistocene micromammals faunas the last interglacial (Burgtonna in Thuringia) and several phases of the subsequent glacial (Hunas, Sesselfelsgrott in Bavaria) are currently under investigation. Studies of the small mammal fauna will focus on faunal change across interglacial-glacial transitions, palaeoecological interpretation and transregional correlation.
L. Reisch (University of Erlangen), T. van Kolfschoten (University of Leiden), T. Henkel (University of Leipzig), S. Meng (University of Greifswald)