Palaeoecological and palaeoenviromental reconstruction of the upper Miocene vertebrate karstic site of Corral de Lobato, central-eastern Spain

We report stable isotopic analyses for dental enamel of fossil mammals from the Miocene (~7.1 Ma, MN13, middle Turolian) Corral de Lobato locality, Guadalajara, Spain, and compare it with adjacent localities of the Iberian Range. This multidisciplinary research allows the assessment of the palaeoenvironmental, palaeoecological and palaeoclimatic conditions that were in place in the central-eastern area of the Iberian Peninsula at this time. Herbivore tooth enamel δ13C values point to the presence of two environments: open woodland/arid C3 grassland and woodland/mesic C3 grassland. We infer the most probable diets of the two carnivores analysed, indicating a partition of resources and habitats. Tooth enamel δ18O values from the obligate drinkers indicate that all of them would have drunk water with similar evaporation rates except for the suid Hippopotamodon major, although its distinct δ18O values may be influenced by its omnivorous diet. Comparing Corral de Lobato taxa with those from other semi-contemporaneous (MN12–MN13) localities of the nearby Teruel Basin, δ13O values point to more arid conditions in Corral de Lobato while lower values of δ18O are most likely related to the karst origin of water bodies. Possibly, the difference between the isotopic compositions of Corral de Lobato and adjacent localities results from the combined effect of palaeotopography and a global climate pulse about 7 Ma.

Last Updated
March 2, 2021