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, Volume 92, Issue 4, pp 681–713 | Cite as

The fossil fallow deer Dama geiselana (Cervidae, Mammalia, upgrade to species level) in the context of migration and local extinctions of fallow deer in the Late and Middle Pleistocene in Europe

  • Thekla Pfeiffer-Deml
Review Article

Abstract

The fossil fallow deer Dama dama geiselana Pfeiffer from Neumark-Nord (Saxony-Anhalt, Germany) is upgraded to species level and discussed within the current taxonomy of recent and fossil fallow deer. Typical antler and skeletal characteristics are discussed in comparison with the recent Dama dama, Dama mesopotamica and the fossil species Dama clactoniana, Dama nestii and Dama rhenana. The phylogenetic relationship of fallow deer can be traced back to the Late Pliocene and distinguished morphologically from Cervus elaphus, Cervus nippon and Axis axis. Late and Middle Pleistocene finds from Germany are presented and discussed in the context of the finds from the Mediterranean region and Great Britain. The differences in antler morphology and bone dimensions in West German and North-East German fallow deer from the Late Pleistocene support the hypothesis of different immigration channels, on the one hand from the eastern Mediterranean along the Danube and on the other from the west along the Rhone and Rhine. In the Middle Pleistocene, Dama mesopotamica is considered as the typical fallow deer in the eastern Mediterranean, while in the west, Dama clactoniana is widespread. The hypothesis of immigration from the eastern Mediterranean is supported by the fossil record in Germany with the fallow deer from Edesheim. Conversely, Dama geiselana probably influenced East Mediterranean populations. Special tooth characteristics of Dama geiselana occur with lower frequency in Dama mesopotamica. In the Bronze Age, the fallow deer from Kastanas (Macedonia) shares antler characteristics, the high frequency of specific features of the scapula, and the astragalus with Dama geiselana. A relict population of Dama geiselana probably reached the Eastern Mediterranean at the beginning of the last cold stage.

Keywords

Dama geiselana Cervids Skeletal morphology Migration Pleistocene 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I gratefully acknowledge the help of Dr. Annette Richter, Annina Böhme (Landesmuseum Hannover, NLMH) who provided the material from Edesheim and the Unicorn Cave. I am most grateful for the access to specimens from the north-eastern localities of Germany under the care of Dr. O. Hampe (Naturkundemuseum, Berlin, MNHB). I wish to thank Dr. C. Becker (Institut für Prähistorische Archäologie der FU, Berlin) for informative discussion, for providing literature, bone material and data from Kastanas. Dr. habil. Günther Deml supported this study by artwork and helpful discussion, comments and current literature. I wish to thank Mr. G. Oleschinski (Steinmann Institut für Geologie, Mineralogie und Paläontologie der Universität Bonn, StIPB) for the excellent photographs of Figs. 2 and 4. Some years ago, I got the opportunity to study material of recent and fossil deer in several European collections and museums. I am most grateful for the access to the specimens under their care at that time: Prof. D. Mania (material from Neumark-Nord), Dr. H. Reichstein† and Mrs. R. Lücht (Institut für Populationsgenetik der CAU Kiel, previously Institut für Haustierkunde, IHK, Kiel), Dr. H. Feiler (Museum für Tierkunde, MTD, Dresden), Dr. R. Hutterer (Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, ZFMK, Bonn), Dr. R. Angermann and Dr. W.-D. Heinrich (MNHB), Dr. G. Storch and Dr. G. Plodowski (Senckenberg Naturmuseum, Frankfurt, SMF), Dr. G. Gruber (Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, HLMD), Dr. R. Ziegler and Dr. E. Heizmann (Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde, Stuttgart, SMNS), Dr. O. Neuffer, Dr. H. Jung (Naturhistorisches Museum, Mainz, MNHM), Mr. F. Menger (Darmstadt, private collection, Upper Rhine Valley), Prof. Dr. A. von den Driesch† (Institut für Paläoanatomie und Geschichte der Tiermedizin, Munich, SNSB-SAPM), Prof. Dr. H.-D. Kahlke, Prof. Dr. R.-D. Kahlke, Dr. L. Maul (Senckenberg Forschungsstation für Quartärpaläontologie, Weimar, IQW), Mr. C. Oswald† (private collection in Englmeng, Bavaria), Prof. Dr. B. Engesser (Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel, BMN), Prof. E. Tchernov† and Dr. R. Rabinovich (Hebrew University Jerusalem), Dr. J. de Voss and Prof. Dr. T. van Kolfschoten (Nationaal Natuurhistorische Museum (Rijksmuseum), Leiden, RMNH), Prof. Dr. A. Suttcliffe, Dr. J. Hooker, Dr. A. Currant (British Museum National History, London, BMNH), Prof. Dr. A. Azzaroli†, Prof. Dr. D. Torre, Dr. L. Abbazzi, Dr. L. Rook, Dr. M. Ferretti (Museo di Storia Naturale di Firenze, Florence, IGF), Prof. Dr. C. Petronio, Dr. L. Capasso Babato, Dr. G. di Stefano (Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, Rome, LSRM), Prof. Dr. C. Guérin, Dr. M. Faure, Dr. A. Valli (Faculté des Sciences et Technologies de Lyon, FSL), Dr. P. Tassy (Institut de Paléontologie du Muséum national d’Histoire national, Paris, MNHN). I am most grateful to an unknown reviewer for valuable suggestions and text corrections which helped to improve this manuscript. I want to thank R. Croitor for his corrections, which contributed to the improvement of this manuscript.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 14 kb)

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© Paläontologische Gesellschaft 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CremlingenGermany

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