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Un Tour di eventi che ha l'obiettivo di decentrare a livello locale la condivisione della conoscenza, portando il dibattito sui motori di ricerca e sulla promozione dei siti web dal Forum GT direttamente nelle varie Regioni Italiane. GT Idea ti invita a scoprire il perchè degli eventi. Il Tour di eventi si conclude come di consueto a Novembre con il Convegno Nazionale sul Search Marketing dove si concentrano i maggiori esperti del settore.

Un'intera giornata dedicata alla formazione sul Web Marketing


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Programma del corso


Break

13:30 - 14:30

Lunch Break

In fase di definizione

Round Table

10:00 - 13:30

Round Table - PAIP - Le meraviglie della Paleontologia: incontro tra arte e scienza

3Bee , 3Bee , In fase di definizione, Jarvis

JOIN THE ROUND TABLE

14:30 - 17:30

Round Table - Tutela e conservazione dei beni paleontologici (il link di partecipazione sarà inviato alla mailing list degli iscritti)

In fase di definizione

Talk session: Climate Change

08:45 - 09:00

Passato, presente e futuro di Salamandrina (Salamandridae, Urodela): l’utilizzo dell’Ecological Niche Modeling per investigarne passate estinzioni e prospettive future

3Bee

La penisola italiana è caratterizzata da un’elevata ricchezza specifica tra gli anfibi, soprattutto se paragonata alle altre penisole mediterranee d’Europa. Tra gli urodeli, il genere Salamandrina è l’unico rappresentante della sottofamiglia Salamandrininae, ed è caratterizzato da una combinazione unica di morfologia, ecologia e comportamento. Salamandrina è attualmente l’unico genere di vertebrato endemico del territorio italiano, sebbene la sua distribuzione passata sia stata molto più ampia, con fossili rinvenuti in diverse località europee in Germania, Ungheria, Spagna, e Grecia. Il presente lavoro si prefigge di utilizzare gli strumenti forniti dai metodi di Ecological Niche Modeling per indagare l’evoluzione dell’idoneità climatica di questo taxon, focalizzandosi su un intervallo di tempo che va dall’ultimo periodo interglaciale all’anno 2070. Si vuole, inoltre, investigare le radici dell’estirpazione di Salamandrina da tutta Europa a eccezione della penisola italiana. La nicchia climatica di questo taxon è stata determinata tramite MaxEnt, utilizzando i dati di presenza delle due specie attuali e 19 variabili bioclimatiche. Il modello è stato successivamente proiettato su scenari climatici differenti, che includono differenti intervalli climatici passati e futuri. Le analisi suggeriscono che il clima attuale della maggior parte d’Europa (a esclusione dell’Italia) non è adatto a Salamandrina, così come non lo era durante i passati 120-140 mila anni, suggerendo la potenziale influenza dei cambiamenti climatici pleistocenici quale causa responsabile dell’estirpazione di questa salamandra da diverse aree europee. Tuttavia, è importante sottolineare che questa ipotesi è da considerarsi soltanto teorica, visto che l’ultimo dato di presenza di questo genere al di fuori del territorio italiano risale al passaggio tra Miocene e Pliocene della Grecia (località di Maramena). È, infatti, probabile che alcuni eventi climatici del Pliocene abbiano influito considerevolmente sulla sua estirpazione. Le proiezioni future utilizzando diversi scenari di emissioni di CO2 prevedono che anche il clima dell’Italia peninsulare sarà sempre meno adatto alle due specie di questa salamandra durante i prossimi 50 anni. Pertanto, i risultati delle analisi mostrano come il clima del passato abbia potenzialmente influito sulla biogeografia di Salamandrina, e come il cambiamento climatico globale potrebbe ulteriormente influenzarne la distribuzione futura. In assenza di corrette politiche di conservazione, la riduzione degli habitat adatti a questo urodelo e la sua conseguente possibile estinzione sembrano quindi essere inevitabili. Per le peculiari caratteristiche che contraddistinguono queste salamandre, la loro estinzione causerebbe una significativa perdita per la biodiversità italiana e globale, e la loro salvaguardia dovrebbe dunque essere considerata una priorità.

09:00 - 09:15

Morfologie di crescita e ruolo delle biocostruzioni a Sabellaria alveolata (Polychaeta) di aree costiere della Sicilia

In fase di definizione

Vengono discussi aspetti di diversi tipi morfologici delle biocostruzioni del polichete Sabellaria alveolata, interessanti per il ruolo nella dinamica costiera e i rapporti con gli organismi associati. La specie costruisce tubi agglutinati sabbiosi che si aggregano in fondali marini, incrostando substrati duri e successivamente fondi sabbiosi limitrofi. In Mediterraneo, S. alveolata vive dalla linea di costa fino a pochi metri di profondità, in siti con elevato idrodinamismo in cui le particelle di sedimento, necessarie per la costruzione dei tubi, vengono continuamente messe in sospensione. Le biocostruzioni a Sabellaria in studio sono state individuate in tre siti costieri della Sicilia, mappate e monitorate stagionalmente dal 2020: 1) Portopalo con biocostruzioni a crosta spesse circa 10 cm; 2)Oasi del Simeto con biocostruzioni a cuscino, alte alcuni dm, sviluppate su fondali ad elevata torbidità; 3) Falconara con una biocostruzione a banco alta circa 80 cm con massima estensione in estate, sviluppata all’interno di una cavità a tunnel lungo la costa in cui si incanalano correnti e moto ondoso. Interessante è comprendere cosa regola la formazione delle tipologie individuate e la loro variazione nel tempo. Ad oggi ciò sembrerebbe dipendere da locali cambiamenti di parametri ambientali come idrodinamismo e apporto sedimentario: a Portopalo le biocostruzioni si mantengono basse con tubi prostrati che si accrescono soprattutto lateralmente, piuttosto che in altezza; nell’Oasi del Simeto le biocostruzioni si sviluppano notevolmente anche in altezza con tubi subverticali, grazie all’apporto fluviale di una notevole quantità di sedimento; a Falconara i banchi presentano il maggiore sviluppo e continuità laterale per il costante rifornimento di sabbia risospesa dalle correnti costiere. Per la loro stessa natura, i reef a S. alveolata fungono da serbatoi di sedimento sabbioso che è temporaneamente sequestrato all’ambiente, fino alla sua parziale o completa reimmissione in conseguenza di eventi meteomarini particolarmente violenti e distruttivi. Questo ruolo chiave nella dinamica sedimentaria costiera finora pochissimo investigato merita di essere approfondito.

09:15 - 09:30

Climate variability during MIS 19 from western to central Mediterranean basin

In fase di definizione

Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 19 is the closest orbital analogue of the present interglacial and represents a valuable time window for documenting natural climate variability. In the last years we have investigated Mediterranean marine records integrating micropaleontological signals (calcareous plankton and pollen assemblage) with bio-geochemical proxies (isotope stratigraphy and biomarkers). The dataset derives from the Ocean Drilling Program sites 975 in the Balearic Basin and 976 in the Alboran Sea, from core KC01B from the Ionian Sea and from the onland Montalbano Jonico section in the southern Italy (Ionian Basin). These studies document the occurrence of a millennial and sub-millennial climate variability across Termination IX that can be traced in western and central Mediterranean basin reflecting North Atlantic climate perturbations. The succession and timing of these events have highlighted a strong similarity between Termination I and Termination IX. The comparison between calcareous plankton and pollen assemblages allowed to evaluate the effects of air-sea interactions on climate variations during MIS 19 that was characterized by high millennial-scale climate changes superimposed to glacial/interglacial and stadial/interstadial oscillations. The correlation of Mediterranean climate fluctuations with Iberian margin climate records confirm the persistent oceanic and atmospheric interconnections between Mediterranean and North Atlantic climate regime during latest MIS 20 and MIS 19.

09:30 - 09:45

Change in richness, abundance, geographic range and habitat specialization in Plio-Pleistocene Mediterranean bivalves

In fase di definizione

Following the Mid Pliocene Warm Period (~3.0 million years ago, Ma), marine Mediterranean biodiversity experienced a sharp decline, which has been linked to the onset of the Northern Hemisphere Glaciation. Among bivalves, around 50% of Pliocene species became extinct, while the remaining 50% still lives in the Mediterranean Sea today. What factors drove extinction of one species and success of another? How did climate change influence species survival? A species-level dataset of 1350 occurrences of three bivalve families (Pectinidae, Veneridae, Lucinidae), selected because of their different life habit (respectively, epifaunal suspension feeder, infaunal suspension feeder, infaunal chemosymbiotic), was assembled from literature data. Only occurrences with reliable chronostratigraphic information (stage-level or finer), information on geographic location and paleoenvironment were selected. Ages span from the Zanclean to the Calabrian (5.33-0.77 Ma); geographic range includes the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic; based on lithology, paleoenvironments include brackish-water, shoreface, inner-outer shelf and slope-bathyal settings. We analyzed per-family changes in species richness through time, and using non parametric statistics, we tested whether abundance, habitat specialization, and geographic range, considered among the principal factors controlling extinction risk in ancient and modern seas, explained species survival or extinction. Richness was expressed as the number of species in shoreface and inner-outer shelf settings, in four-time bins of equal length; abundance as the number of species occurrences; habitat specialization as the number of environments in which each species was found; geographic range size as maximum convex hull area of each species. For all bivalve families, species loss in shoreface settings seems to predate changes at shelf depth, suggesting that shallower communities were the first to respond to climate perturbation. For all bivalve families, abundance is a good predictor of extinction, as extinct species were significantly rarer than extant species. For Veneridae and Lucinidae, extinct species occur in a lower number of environments, while habitat specialization seems not to play a role in Pectinidae species loss. Surprisingly, there is nostatistical difference between geographic range size of extant and extinct species, which would suggest that broad geographic range did not playa role in species survival. This is in contradiction with evidence that most Pliocene species that still lives in the Mediterranean are eurythermal, and today live both in the Mediterranean Sea and in the North Atlantic. This is probably due to the poorly documented Plio-Pleistocene fossil record in the North Atlantic, limited to occurrences in Portugal, the Azores and Canary Islands, United Kingdom and Belgium.

09:45 - 10:00

Reef development and coral diversity are positively correlated during the Late Oligocene warming (Castro Limestone, Salento Peninsula, Italy)

3Bee

The Cenozoic record of coral reefs shows that high coral diversity is not strictly necessary for the growth and persistence of coral reefs and the Oligocene, well known as the apex of Cenozoic reef growth, is a crucial period of time to investigate the mutual relationship between these pivotal features and their link with palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironmental changes. Herein we provide a complete characterization of the upper Oligocene reef complex of the Castro Limestone (Salento Peninsula, S Italy), which is one of the best-preserved Oligocene coral reefs of the Mediterranean region. We combine facies analysis with results from taxonomic identification of coral collections at the genus and species level and from quantitative data obtained directly in the field. We show that the Castro Limestone has both a rich scleractinian coral fauna (25 genera and 41 species) and a large reef volume, and represents a luxuriant fringing reef formed within the euphotic zone in clear water conditions facing the open sea. The coral fauna differs both in its composition and in its proportions among reef palaeoenvironments, ranging from the shallow back reef to the fore-reef slope, and its stratigraphic and palaeogeographic distribution testifies to the persistence of a cosmopolitan Tethyan fauna in Oligocene time, with the Mediterranean and Indo-Pacific provinces being more closely connected than the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. The age of the Castro Limestone is here reassigned to the middle-late Chattian, which coincides with the Late Oligocene Warming (LOW) when atmospheric CO2 values declined. We suggest that the strong reef-building capacity of the Castro Limestone, coupled with high coral diversity, was not hampered by warming conditions but most probably promoted by the reduced pCO2 and a suitable local/regional physiographic setting. This study was funded by the Italian Ministry of Education and Research (MIUR), funds PRIN 2017: project "Biota resilience to global change: biomineralization of planktic and benthic calcifiers in the past, present and future" (prot. 2017RX9XXY).

Blitz session: Cross disciplinary

10:00 - 10:05

A theropod-dominated ichnoassemblage from the Molfetta dinosaur tracksite (Early Cretaceous; Apulia, southern Italy)

3Bee

The track-bearing surface of the San Leonardo quarry (Molfetta, Apulia), late Aptian-early Albian in age, is characterised by more than 800 footprints, produced by both quadrupedal and bipedal dinosaurs. The tracksite has recently been the subject of an accurate mapping by using aerial-based photogrammetry. Six well-preserved bipedal trackways, composed by tridactyl footprints, are easily recognisable; they are attributed to medium- and large-sized theropod dinosaurs, as are at least other two clear isolated tracks. Only one clear but poorly preserved trackway and numerous isolated manus-pes couples have been attributed to quadrupedal dinosaurs. More than 20 tridactyl tracks, 8 isolated manus-pes sets and the whole quadrupedal trackway have been modelled by using close-range photogrammetry. The tridactyl ichnoassemblage is represented by large-sized, weakly mesaxonic (i.e., with low prominence of digit III in relation to digits II–IV) and robust tracks. The clear digital pad impressions on each digit reveal the typical phalangeal formula of theropods. Morphological comparison with Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous theropod tracks from surrounding areas, supported by morphometric analyses, points out a highest affinity with the specimens from North Africa. Nevertheless, a set of unique characters appears to justify the establishment of a new ichnotaxon for the tridactyl tracks. They can be referred to a theropod whose body length reaches about 6 m. The trackmaker's autopodium, reconstructed on the basis of characters identifiable on the 3D models, allows a reliable osteological match with the known hindlimbs of coeval theropods. The preliminary results (e.g., cluster analysis, PCA) suggest basal carcharodontosaurids as the most suitable trackmaker of the Molfetta tridactyl tracks. Additionally, the photogrammetric models of the quadrupedal trackway and four isolated manus pes sets suggest they belong to the same morphotype: pes is tetradactyl, wider than long and asymmetrical, with digits II and III forward oriented and digits I and IV slightly laterally directed; the highly digitigrade manus, tetra- or pentadactyl, also displays a similar pattern. These tracks share numerous morphological characters with both the ichnogenera Tetrapodosaurus and Metatetrapodus and thus can possibly be attributed to a medium-sized ankylosaurian trackmaker.

10:05 - 10:10

Revision of Cretaceous ichthyosaurs from the Northern Apennines: new insights on neurovascular anatomy, ecology and abyssal taphonomy

3Bee

A new ichthyosaur rostrum fragment (251372) was found in 2016 near Gombola (Modena province). This new find enriches the record of Cretaceous ichthyosaur remains from the same locality, dating back to the late 1800s. Two other rostral fragments from Gombola (IPUM 30139, IPUM 30140), previously referred to Platypterygius sp., were also re-examined. All specimens come from parts of the rostrum anterior to the narial openings, and CT scans allowed the observation of their internal anatomy. All three specimens can be confidently assigned to the ophthalmosaurid subfamily Platypterygiinae, based on the strongly quadrangular shape of the tooth roots. The robust shape of the teeth and the coarse longitudinal ridges on the crowns are indicative of an apex-predator eco-morphotype. The CT scan of 251372 revealed maxillary and mandibular ramification of the trigeminal nerve (V); each channel is branching from the main body at the base of the alveolar grooves and connects with the respective fossa dentalis/premaxillaris. All three specimens share similar taphonomic characteristics, e.g. displacement along the symphyseal axis due to lateral compression. 251372 shows also evidence of scavenging, among which the tip of a shark tooth embedded in the proximal end of the fragment. Similar to other marine reptiles found in the Northern Apennines, all fragments present signs of a common taphonomic history: bones and teeth are highly dense, black in colour and barely permeable by X-rays. These features seem to be related to the particular deep-sea environment, where iron-manganese oxides and carbonates (rhodochrosite) encrust the skeletal tissues, encasing and protecting the remains. This study has been financed by the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, FAR 2020 Project (Remitti, Papazzoni, Vescogni).

10:10 - 10:15

Re-evaluation of the holotype of Draconyx loureiroi (Dinosauria, Ornithopoda) with report of new holotype material

3Bee

The Upper Jurassic Lourinhã Formation is a siliciclastic continental unit, which yielded a diverse vertebrate fauna, dated from upper-most Kimmeridgian to lower-most Tithonian. Among dinosaurians, extremely diverse and abundant were saurischians, while ornithischians are extremely rare. In 1991, Museu da Lourinhã excavated a specimen of a medium-sized iguanodontian, the holotype of Draconyx loureiroi (ML 357). However, beside its original description, specialists in many systematic and taxonomic revision of the clade Iguanodontia have neglected this specimen. Moreover, the original discoverer of the holotype, Mr. Carlos Anunciação, provided us with new material belonging to the holotype specimen and collected during the original dig in 1991, including partially articulated phalanges and carpal bones. This new material, new lab preparation, and new CT-scanning data, allowed us to re-appraise ML 357 and perform phylogenetic and morphometric analyses. We confirmed that Draconyx loureiroi is a valid taxon, providing a revised diagnosis for this species. It can be distinguished by other iguanodontians in possessing the following unique combination of characters: an unfused and unpacked carpus, cnemial crest of the tibia cranio-laterally deflected, fibular condyle caudo-laterally deflected, presence of a vestigial splinter-like metatarsal-I. Phylogenetic analyses were carried out employing both Maximum Parsimony and Bayesian approaches. Both analyses found D. loureiroi nested at the base of Styracosterna. Further, we estimated with both Maximum Parsimony and Bayesian inference evolutionary rates across the consensus topologies obtained and found accelerated rates of evolution across the Jurassic-Cretaceous transition. The linear morphometric analysis indicated that D. loureiroi is a specimen of approximately 3 to 4 meters, suggesting that the base of Styracosterna is characterized by medium-sized species, and only later in their evolution styracosternans attained larger body sizes. This increase in evolutionary rates is contemporary to a global geological crisis and the subsequent remodelling of terrestrial ecosystems. Further research is needed to elucidate if this crisis sped-up the evolution of this clade of dinosaurs.

10:15 - 10:20

Morphometric and 3D analyses of Middle Miocene oysters: A preliminary comparison between specimens from Moravian Outcrops of the Carpathian foredeep (Czech Republic) and from Roztocze Hills buildups (Poland)

3Bee

A preliminary study is here submitted about systematical, paleoecological and morphometrical analyses of Miocene oysters (Langhian-Serravalian ≈ Badenian from Parathetys area). The purpose of the work is to present a comparison between the collected samples from Moravian part of Carpathian Foredeep (Czech Republic) and from Zdziechowice Pierwsze (Roztocze Hills, Poland). In particular, the study will focus on Polish samples, as the Czech ones have been the subject of previous work and considerations, whereby the most common oyster species personally collected are represented by Neopycnodonte navicularis and Ostrea digitalina whose specimens are stored at the Institute of Paleobiology of Warsaw. From a geological point of view three different types of Miocene reefs are described from the western Roztocze Hills, characterized by algal-vermetid buildups with rich micro and macrofaunal assemblages. These reefs are typical of shallow waters, under high energy conditions and constituted by a diverse molluscan community, including concretions of oysters, showing the autochthonous character of bioconstruction. Some of the studied oyster specimens present moderate bioerosion and bioencrustation, caused typically by the activity of sponges, bryozoans, worms and bivalves; typically channel shaped and punctuate structures are presented, referable to the Entobia and Gastrochaenolites trace fossils. As for the Carpathian samples morphometric analyses were performed in order to measure oyster shell parameters: height (H), shell maximum length (W), hinge length (W1), distance between the resilifer area and the upper part of the muscle scar (H1), ventral length (W2), distance between lower part of the muscle scar and ventral margin (H2) and opening angle of the muscle scar (α). Using a regression analysis, calibrated on W/H, W1/H1 and W2/H2 ratios, we obtained a reference system to evaluate the morphometric trend of the single oyster valves, usefulness proxy in the determination of uncertain species. Furthermore, a 3D analysis of the oyster valves has been carried out, obtained from the morphological parameters of the Neopycnodonte specimens, in order to compare it with the samples of the Moravian Carpathian Foredeep. This research allowed to develop a “workflow” for the analysis of the oyster pattern morphospace, based on 3D models. These data permit to get a qualitative dataset, which is typical by species and by “paleoecological” area to which they belong, with common morphometric signature.

10:20 - 10:25

New perspectives on Suidae (Mammalia, Artiodactyla) at the Miocene-Pliocene transition

3Bee

The Suidae are a family of artiodactyls that contains a diverse array of extinct and extant large mammals, including wild boars and warthogs, among others. They are and were a widely distributed group throughout the Old World. Part of their evolutionary success rests on a reproduction strategy that privileges a high number of offspring against a long-term effort in parental care, making them capable to adapt relatively faster than other mammals of comparable size to environmental fluctuations. This is reflected in a rich fossil record that provides valuable biochronological and paleoenvironmental insights. One of the most important events in the evolution of the family is the appearance of the genus Sus and the subsequent replacement of the other species previously inhabiting Eurasia during the Pliocene. The dispersal event of Sus arvernensis into Europe marks the beginning of the Ruscinian Mammal Age at the onset of the Pliocene, in a period of general reorganization of mammalian paleocommunities. Indeed, the Miocene-Pliocene transition records a return to more humid conditions after the trend of increasing aridity that took place in the late Miocene and it is paralleled by a marked faunal renewal. Here, by coupling the re-examination of historical collections with the analysis of new material a reappraisal of the replacement between Propotamochoerus provincialis and S. arvernensis is presented, in a comparative study with other Miocene, Pliocene, and Pleistocene species. The biochronological relevance of this event is underlined. Sus arvernensis occupies a key phylogenetic and chronological position for our comprehension of the subsequent evolutionary history of the Suidae. Indeed, fossils of S. arvernensis are known from several Ruscinian and Early Villafranchian localities of Europe, with other putative occurrences reported from Africa and Asia. Further implications resulting from a critical evaluation of part of these findings are discussed.

10:25 - 10:30

A second specimen of the archaic Mediterranean monodontid cetacean Casatia thermophila from the Zanclean deposits of Arcille (Tuscany, Italy)

In fase di definizione

"The white whale Delphinapterus leucas (also known as the beluga) and the narwhal Monodon monoceros are the only extant members of the family Monodontidae (Cetacea, Odontoceti, Delphinoidea). These two species are exclusive of Arctic and subarctic cold waters. They are well known as iconic cetaceans by virtue of a white skin color (in case of D. leucas) and a spiraled tusk (in case of M. monoceros). Differing from other groups of odontocetes cetaceans, the monodontids are known as fossils from just a handful of specimens. Only four species have been described in literature, all being known by the sole holotype, namely: Bohaskaia monodontoides, Denebola brachycephala, Haborodelphis japonicus and Casatia thermophila. In particular, C. thermophila is the only fossil monodontid to have ever been found in the whole Mediterranean basin. Here we describe a second specimen of C. thermophila, from its lower Pliocene type locality of Arcille (Grosseto Province, Tuscany, central Italy). The new find consists of three cervicals (including the axis) and two lumbars. This fossil resembles the holotype in terms of overall size and cranial morphology, and especially, by displaying a similarly depressed portion of the dorsal surface of the premaxillae anterior to the premaxillary sac fossae and medial to the anteromedial sulci. Our new find is thus assigned to C. thermophila, and significant anatomical parts that are missing in the holotype are described in order to improve the diagnosis of this monodontid species. Several dentigerous fragments of the maxillae hint at a homodont and polydont dentition, which in turn suggests a ram prey capture method that differs from the highly derived suction method that is proper of extant monodontids. This second specimen of C. thermophila from the warm-water Arcille palaeoenvironment lends further support to the hypothesis that monodontids once thrived in tropical and subtropical habitats.

10:30 - 10:35

Taphonomy of an early Pliocene balaenopterid whale from southern Tuscany: a preliminary investigation

3Bee

A balaenopterid skeleton from the early Pliocene of Montalcino was found in 2007 and prepared in 2016-2019. After its complete preparation, a preliminary investigation about its taphonomy was performed that resulted in the reconstruction of the map of the bone dispersion, an analysis of fracture types, part of the associated fauna and a new stratigraphic study to constrain the age of the specimen. This Zanclean whale is represented by an associated skeleton (about 50% complete) that is completely disarticulated. Bones are scattered and removed from the original axis of the whale with the exception of part of the cervical vertebrae and the transition between lumbar and caudal vertebrae. The bones show load fractures and a limited number of impact fractures suggesting that the environment where the decay occurred was characterized by high energy water flow. Presence of fully grown balanid barnacles on some of the bones suggests that the carcass remained over the seafloor for c. 1 year before being buried. Application of biostratinomic procedures allowed the reconstruction of part of the taphonomic history of the specimen.

10:35 - 10:40

Biological role and environmental control in the formation of carbonate biocostructions of confined marine settings ("Lu Lampiùne" cave, Otranto Apulia)

3Bee

The dark and confined conditions of the innermost submarine cave sectors allow the development of cryptic bioconstructions, named “biostalactites” (BSTs). They resemble “buildup”-type ecosystems at smaller scale and are receiving increasing attention in the last years since they allow geobiological studies that could clarify the complex relationships between metazoan and bacteria in cryptic bioconstructions of the fossil record. The “lu Lampiùne” cave in Apulia, represents an example of these natural laboratories where the presence of bioconstructions locally enhance biodiversity. Micromorphological observations, UV-epifluorescence and micro-Raman spectroscopy analyses were applied to investigate the internal structures and growth pattern of the meter-long biostalactites, that project obliquely from the wall to the central part of the cave. Two type of “building engineers” were detected: sessile skeletonized organisms and microbialites. The serpulid tubes of the BST core offer the support for the colonization of other organisms. In turn, the decomposition of the organic matter, produced by this complex association, stimulates the development of heterotrophic bacteria that induce autochthonous micrite deposition contributing to the cementation of the structures. Further microbial biomineralization products are ferromanganesiferous crusts and Frutexites-like structures, induced by Fe–Mn autotrophic and chemoheterotrophic bacterial activity. Complex taphonomic and early diagenetic processes, recorded by bioerosion, micritizzation and dissolution of the skeletons, and early cement precipitation, suggest a variability of seawater chemistry. Phases of carbonate saturation, testified by the skeletal/microbialite growth and early cement precipitation, alternate with phases of carbonate instability, indicated by dissolution phenomena and precipitation of ferromanganesiferous structures.

10:40 - 10:45

Large mammals from the lower complex of Grotta Romanelli (Apulia, southern Italy): between the rediscovery of the historical fossil collection and the study of new material

3Bee

Grotta Romanelli is a coastal cave located in the administrative territory of the Castro municipality, within the Otranto-Santa Maria di Leuca Coast and Tricase Woods regional natural parks (Lecce, Apulia, southern Italy). The thick sedimentary succession contains a rich palaeontological and archaeological heritage, revealing human frequentation since the Middle Pleistocene. The stratigraphical succession includes two main complexes separated by a speleothem (level F), U/Th dated at 40± 3ky. The lower complex includes, from bottom to top, a conglomerate deposit (K), a bone breccia (I) covered by a stalagmitic layer (H) U/Th dated at <69ky and the so-called terre rosse (G), bearing Middle Palaeolithic artefacts and vertebrate fauna. The upper complex consists of the so-called terre brune (levels E-A), which include late Upper Palaeolithic artefacts and vertebrate fauna. Despite its key role for studies on the Mediterranean Quaternary, the age of the lower part of the sequence of Grotta Romanelli was repeatedly questioned in literature and thus new fieldwork activities started in 2015, focusing on its reassessment. The field activities are led by a team from Sapienza, University of Rome, in collaboration with IGAG CNR and other research institutions. The general stratigraphic scheme previously proposed was confirmed, even though the new investigations revealed a more complex and differentiated succession of layers with different palaeoenvironmental significance. New radiometric dating for the lower complex indicates a deposition between MIS 11 and MIS 5. Available data on mammals from the lower complex are mainly based on a previously published faunal list. A few exceptions are represented by the samples of canid and otter from level G, referred to Canis lupus and Lutra lutra, respectively, and rhino remains, attributed to Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis (level K), Coelodonta antiquitatis and Stephanorhinus sp. (level I), and Stephanorhinus hemitoechus (level G). The results of the taxonomic revision of the historical paleontological collections housed at Museo delle Civiltà (former Museo Preistorico Etnografico "Luigi Pigorini"), Istituto Italiano di Paleontologia Umana (IsIPU) and Museo di Geologia e Paleontologia, Sistema Museale di Ateneo, Università di Firenze, are here presented as well as the new fossils excavated during 2015-2019. This will add important information on the biochronological framework on Europe Mediterranean communities of the late Middle to early Late Pleistocene.

10:45 - 10:50

The strontium case in modern and past oceans: causal or casual relationships with coccolithophore growth rate and coccolith geometry

3Bee

Coccolithophores are an important group of marine phytoplankton that contribute 1-10% of marine primary production and 50% to offshore CaCO3 sedimentation. Calcareous nannoplankton display one of the most abundant and continuous fossil records of any phylum since their appearance dated as Triassic in age. For this reason, due to their abundance in pelagic (and hemipelagic) sediments and good preservation of the original community composition, nannofossils have been intensively used as paleoecological indicators. Indeed, the calcium carbonate produced by coccolithophores has been investigated for chemical and isotopic composition as tracers of paleoceanographic conditions and dynamics. One important proxy is the Sr/Ca ratio recorded in fossil coccoliths: several studies show the direct and proportional relationship between the Sr/Ca ratio of coccoliths and calcification rates. The calcification rate is a function of the growth rate and, therefore, of coccolithophore productivity: the faster is the coccolithophore growth the faster is the calcification and transport of ions via transmembrane pumps, and the higher is the coccolith Sr/Ca ratio. Therefore, the variations in coccolith Sr/Ca ratio were intensively used as a proxy for paleoclimatic reconstructions to indicate intervals of high and low productivity. The correlation works when changes in productivity are nutrient‐induced while growth changes caused by light, temperature, and carbonate chemistry variations complicate the interpretation with respect to paleoenvironmental significance. Even the coccosphere geometry is influenced by environmental parameters with implications for coccolith sizes and shapes but also for the number of coccoliths produced per cell, which is, in turn, an important parameter in determining the total mass of calcite in the cell. In the fossil record, the estimate of relative abundances of taxa can be influenced by variations in the number of coccoliths produced per cell in response to altered environmental conditions. The significance of coccolithophore architecture in both the modern ocean and the geological record is, therefore, an important factor when exploring the impact of calcite production and carbonate export and burial. In our experiments, we exposed different coccolithophore species to variable seawater Sr/Ca ratios to address the following questions: Are changes in growth and coccosphere geometry comparable between different species? Is the coccolithophore architecture affected by Sr enrichment? and, ultimately, can potential effects of Sr concentrations on coccosphere geometry affect the interpretation of Sr/Ca in nannofossils? Our data suggest that increased availability of Sr stimulates the coccolithogenesis in terms of number of coccoliths (quantity) produced and could, therefore, contribute to the understanding of the biogeochemical role of coccolithophores under different ocean chemistry.

Talk session: 3D reconstructions

11:20 - 11:35

Quando un “Tipo” è deformato: applicazioni di Paleontologia virtuale come nuove possibilità per la ricerca e la “terza missione”

3Bee

I processi tafonomici e diagenetici tendono a modificare i resti di organismi depositati anche durante la fossilizzazione, sia in modo fragile (fratturazioni, ecc.) che plastico (compressioni, distorsioni, ecc.). Di fatto, resti che già dopo i processi biostratinomici si trovano incompleti e sparsi rischiano di subire importanti modificazioni delle loro morfologie, che vanno ad aggiungersi, a mascherare o perfino a cancellare la naturale variabilità intraspecifica di quell’organismo fossile studiato, complicando le interpretazioni possibili per quel taxon. Recentemente è stata sviluppata una nuova metodologia di retrodeformazione di fossili diageneticamente deformati, chiamata “Target deformation”. Questo protocollo virtuale combina morfometria geometrica e modelli 3D. Una volta ottenuti modelli 3D dei campioni presi in esame tramite scansioni tridimensioni ad alta risoluzione, questo protocollo di retrodeformazione prevede l’utilizzo di un campione non deformato della stessa specie esaminata (un target, appunto) sul quale vengono presi dei landmark di riferimento che serviranno a guidare la retrodeformazione. Tale tecnica si presenta di particolare rilievo quando si prendono in considerazione specie i cui esemplari tipo siano particolarmente deformati e le cui morfologie, per quanto rilevanti scientificamente, siano oscurate. Presentiamo qui i risultati preliminari della retrodeformazione di due esemplari tipo di alcuni carnivori iconici del Pleistocene inferiore italiano e europeo Canis arnensis Del Campana, 1913 e Homotherium nestianum Fabbrini, 1890 (=H. latidens). Questi due campioni sono contenuti all’interno delle collezioni del Museo di Storia Naturale di Firenze e sono entrambi stati raccolti intorno alla fine dell’800 nel Valdarno Superiore. Nonostante siano stati effettivamente selezionati come materiale tipo di queste specie entrambi presentano un alto grado di deformazione, in particolare in senso laterolaterale. I risultati preliminari di queste applicazioni forniscono dati nuovi e preziosi che potranno servire come base per future analisi volte a chiarire l’evoluzione e gli adattamenti di questi carnivori fossili. Infine, la potenzialità comunicativa di queste metodologie virtuali è tale da costituire un prezioso elemento in vari contesti educativi-divulgativi.

11:35 - 11:50

The canid remains from the Middle Pleistocene of Ponte Galeria (Rome, Italy)

3Bee

Members of the genus Canis are among the most successful and widespread carnivorans across the Middle Pleistocene ecosystems of Europe, where two morphologically similar species are recognized, the Mosbach wolf (Canis mosbachensis) and the grey wolf (Canis lupus). The phyletic relationship between these two species is broadly accepted among scholars, as well as that the transition from C. mosbachensis to C. lupus occurred in Europe during the Middle Pleistocene, approximately 450-350 ka. The latest occurrence of the Mosbach wolf was attested during MIS 11, with a partial cranium from the Ostiense site (central Italy) (Mecozzi et al., 2020). The earliest record of the grey wolf was reported at the Lunel-Viel site (MIS 11, southern France), but recent works proposed a slightly younger age for the deposit (MIS 9-7) (Uzunidis-Boutillier, 2020). Doubts persisted on the taxonomical attribution of isolated dental and postcranial remains dated from MIS 12 to MIS 9 of a few European localities, due to the strong morphological affinity between these two canids. Therefore, the complete skull from La Polledrara di Cecanibbio (central Italy), dated at 340-320 ka (MIS 9) could represent one of the earliest evidence of C. lupus in Europe, but unfortunately a detailed study of this specimen is still lacking. In this contribution we present a partial neurocranium of a large-sized canid from the Middle Pleistocene of Ponte Galeria (Rome, Italy) whose dating at 419±6 ka perfectly falls at the strategic time of the C. mosbachensis - C. lupus transition. The specimen has been digitalized trough CT methods and virtually restored to obtain a more complete model of the braincase and a partial brain endocast. Comparative analyses with extant and fossil canids, show that the specimen from Ponte Galeria shares several morphological and biometric features with extant C. lupus, representing one of the largest canids from MIS 11 and probably the earliest evidence of the grey wolf in Europe.

11:50 - 12:05

The Dama-like deer ‘Pseudodama’ nestii (Mammalia, Cervidae) from Pantalla (Early Pleistocene)

3Bee

Numerous exceptionally-preserved mammal remains, including some complete skulls, were discovered in the 1990s in Pantalla (Perugia, central Italy). The upper part of the stratigraphic section yielded a rich mammal assemblage composed by Apodemus dominans, Canis etruscus, Vulpes sp., Lynx issiodorensis valdarnensis, Acinonyx pardinensis, Lutraeximia umbra, Leptobos merlai, ‘Pseudodama’ nestii, Sus strozzii, Equus stenonis, and Mammuthus cf. meridionalis (Cherin et al., 2021 and references therein). This contribution presents for the first time the outstanding sample of ‘P.’ nestii from the site. During the Villafranchian, Epivillafranchian, and early Galerian, several Dama-like deer species occurred in Europe, but there is still much debate on their taxonomy and relationships. Azzaroli (1992) introduced the genus Pseudodama to accommodate all Villafranchian forms. Pending a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis, here we keep the conservative choice of considering ‘Pseudodama’ as a valid genus but indicating it in inverted commas. The Pantalla sample is composed by two male skulls, a frontal fragment with basal part of the antler, several mandibles and maxillary fragments with teeth, and some postcranial elements including a partial articulated hindlimb. The first cranium belongs to an adult male with no antlers at the moment of death; the second preserves both antlers but the splanchnocranium is missing. The sample displays a combination of characters that allows an unambiguous attribution to ‘P.’ nestii. CT-based comparisons of the inner and outer anatomy of skulls and antlers reveal that this species displays a mosaic of intermediate characters between Dama and Cervus, but also that the affinities with Dama are prevalent. Some Cervus-like features especially in cranial morphology can be interpreted as plesiomorphic characters supporting a basal position of ‘Pseudodama’ in the evolutionary history of the Cervini. Most interestingly, several bone anomalies are observed in the two male crania from Pantalla. The first shows a drop-like spongy area on the right squamosal, which we interpret as a callus formed to heal a wound, presumably occurred during a fight with another male. The antlers of the second specimen show (1) on the left, a swelling above the first bifurcation corresponding to an anomalous change in orientation of the beam and (2) on the right, a supernumerary tine adjacent to the basal tine. We interpret the former as resulting from the traumatic fracture of the beam during its development and the latter as an anomalous development of the basal antler consequent to an early trauma of the burr.

12:05 - 12:20

New data about cetacean paleoneurology

3Bee

Cetaceans include the most encephalized mammals with the exclusion of mankind. The fossil record can help reconstructing aspects of cetacean brain evolution by means of natural endocasts and non invasive analyses of fossil skulls. New data are presented about specimens from north-west Italy. These include a natural endocast of an early Miocene odontocete and the first virtual endocast of a Pliocene balaenopterid whale. In addition, new data from Miocene mysticetes from Belgium are reported showing the diversity of paleoneurological patterns evolved throughout mysticete evolution. This new information adds a wealth of new data about the patterns of variation of neurovascular characters such as paths and relative development of major endocranial vessels, relative size of brain, morphological variation of cerebral and cerebellar structures, filling in part a major gap about our understanding of cetacean brain evolution.

12:20 - 12:35

A new sperm whale occurrence from the Miocene of southern Italy: digital imaging and retrodeformation as tools for the systematic study of a basal physeteroid

In fase di definizione

Here we report on the discovery of a new sperm whale (Cetacea: Odontoceti: Physeteroidea) specimen from the Pietra leccese, a Miocene calcareous formation exposed in Salento Peninsula (southern Italy) and widely known for its abundance of fossil marine vertebrates. This partial skeleton, kept at the Museo di Storia Naturale dell’Università di Pisa (MSNUP) with accession number MSNUP I-17604, was found inside six quarry slabs. It displays a significant degree of dorsoventral diagenetic compression; furthermore, it is still partially entombed within the host rock. These issues led us to pursue the imaging of this specimen via computed tomography (CT). Our main goal was to obtain a digital model of the fossil that could be retrodeformed for adequately serving the systematic study of this remarkable specimen. The CT-scan was performed at the Cisanello University Hospital (Pisa, Italy), and the resulting data were imported in the open-source platform 3D Slicer, where we manually segmented the fossil bones. In order to retrodeform the skull of MSNUP I-17604, we imported the mesh obtained from the CT-scan within the open-source platform Blender and we scaled the model to reverse the effects of diagenetic compression. As a proxy, we used the foramen magnum, which we assumed having a circular shape originally. We substantiated this assumption by measuring the height and transverse width of the foramen magnum in several extant and fossil specimens of toothed whales, including various members of Physeteroidea. The CT-scan revealed that MSNUP I-17604 includes an incomplete cranium, a partial mandibular ramus, two detached teeth and two vertebrae that are still embedded within the calcareous matrix, plus five detached and fully prepared teeth. Despite the presence of a hard entombing rock and conspicuous diagenetic deformation, we obtained a digital 3D model of the skull with a good level of detail. A preliminary analysis of the retrodeformed model allows for observing that MSNUP I-17604 is a longirostrine sperm whale that exhibits a highly asymmetrical skull. Asymmetry is particularly evident with respect to the supracranial basin, whose posterior margin is distinctly displaced posterolaterally on its left side. This highly idiosyncratic feature indicates that MSNUP I-17604 represents a new, still undescribed physeteroid taxon. The open pulp cavity of the teeth and the limited degree of apical erosion of the crown suggest that MSNUP I-17604 was a young individual at the time of death. Our cladistic phylogenethic analysis recovers MSNUP I-17604 as more related to extant Physeter than to living Kogia, and possibly as a stem physeterid. Taking its place besides Zygophyseter varolai and a recently described unnamed pyseteroid, MSNUP I 17604 demonstrates that an unexpected diversity of sperm whales inhabited the central Mediterranean Sea during the time of deposition of the Pietra leccese formation.

12:35 - 12:50

3D modelling of the Cambrian Burgess Shale radiodont feeding appendages

3Bee

Radiodonts were the largest nektonic predators in the Cambrian. Radiodonts strongly differentiated during the Cambrian as shown by the different morphologies of their massive frontal appendages. Here to test the different radiodont feeding modes, their appendages have been 3-D reconstructed, and their movement explored. We investigated 4 radiodont species, Anomalocaris canadensis, Hurdia victoria, Peytoia nathorsti and Amplectobelua stephenensis from the Burgess Shale (Cambrian stage 4). Our results show that there was a significant functional and behavioural diversity among the different species with adaptations for feeding on differently sized prey (2 cm up to 10 cm). The limited dexterity and the lack of accessory feeding appendages suggest that feeding must have been inefficient, explaining their subsequent replacement by crown-group arthropods, cephalopods and jawed vertebrates.

Talk session: Extinction, radiation and morphology trends

14:00 - 14:15

A Pseudorca-like dolphin from the Pleistocene of Rhodes (Greece): toward the establishment of the extant delphinid stock (Cetacea, Odontoceti)

3Bee

Oceanic dolphins (family Delphinidae) are the most speciose group of extant cetaceans, being represented by 19 genera and at least 37 species. Their high diversity correlates with a significant disparity that is clearly evident when considering their wide ranging in body size values (from 1.5 m up to 9 m total body length) and the shape of their skull and teeth. Variability of these characters is mainly due to the different trophic strategies carried out by dolphins, namely, suction, raptorial feeding, and grip-and-tear. Furthermore, dolphins are found throughout fluvial, coastal and open-sea environments, sometimes diving at great depths to feed. Molecular data suggest that the remarkable present-day diversity of delphinids is due to a very fast radiation that would have occurred in rather recent times, i.e., during the Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs. The fossil record of delphinids supports these molecular inferences. Indeed, most of the Pliocene delphinids were referred to extinct genera, and consequently, the rise of the modern delphinid stock seems to have occurred during the Quaternary; the latter does unfortunately feature a much fragmentary global record of fossil cetaceans. Here we report on a partial delphinid skeleton from the early Pleistocene clays of the Lindos Formation of Rhodes (Greece). This specimen, kept in the Museum of Mineralogy & Paleontology, Ialisos, Rhodes, consists of an almost complete cranium including the ear bones, both the mandibles, several teeth, a portion of the vertebral column including the atlas, several ribs and the sternum. Pending a more detailed analysis of this significant skeleton, our preliminary observations support a close affinities between the Rhodes dolphin and the extant Pseudorca crassidens, the so-called false killer whale, a large delphinid today reported as a visitor in the Mediterranean Sea. Indeed, the cranium of the Rhodes dolphin shares with P. crassidens i) a wide rostrum having most of its dorsal surface covered by the transversely wide premaxillae, ii) a dorsoventrally narrow supraorbital process, and iii) broadly similar ear bones. Moreover, similarly to P. crassidens, the Rhodes dolphin exhibits very large and cylindrical teeth and a small tooth count (nine teeth are present on each mandible). Interestingly, Pseudorca crassidens and the Orcinus orca (killer whale) are the two only extant cetaceans that feed via grip-and tear, and they have an important role as macropredators in the modern marine trophic chains. This new discovery represents a crucial step for better understanding the last phases of the explosive radiation of oceanic dolphins as well as the establishment of the present-day marine ecosystems.

14:15 - 14:30

Static and evolutionary allometry in multiple temporal populations of closely related cheilostome bryozoan species

3Bee

The study of allometric relationships is key to understanding the mechanisms underlying the evolution of morphology. Empirical and theoretical studies on allometry are largely based on contemporary populations of solitary organisms. Studies based on the allometric relationships of species over evolutionary time scales, especially those based on fossil specimens, are more limited for solitary organisms, and in fact non-existent for colonial organisms. The modular nature of colonial organisms offers a unique opportunity to disentangle genetic effects along with various components of environmental effects on the observed variance in morphological traits. Here, we use cheilostome bryozoans, a phylum of calcified marine invertebrates commonly preserved in the fossil record, to investigate static (within species) and evolutionary (among species) allometry of different trait types over two million years. Specifically, using c. 500 colonies of six Pleistocene-to-Recent New Zealand species of the cheilostome genus Microporella we study the patterns of size covariation between autozooids (i.e., feeding modules) and (i) orifices (i.e., openings through which the feeding organ extends), (ii) ovicells (i.e., brooding structure), and (iii) avicularia (i.e., defensive polymorphs), within populations, species and across species. We hypothesize that phenotypic traits that directly bear on reproduction (i.e., size of ovicells) and/or are developmentally more tied to the autozooid bearing it (i.e., size of orifices) are both less variable within populations and more evolutionarily constrained than traits that may be induced by predators and/or are independently budded from the autozooid bearing it (i.e., size of avicularia). Preliminary results, controlling for within-colony and sample variation, show that the slopes of static allometry for the size of the six New Zealand Microporella species are similar to that of the evolutionary allometric relationship estimated from more than 80 described and undescribed of Microporella species worldwide. Conversely, the slopes of static allometry for avicularia seem to be almost orthogonal to their equivalent evolutionary allometry, suggesting different types of phenotypic constraints for these two traits. We further hypothesize that static allometries will be similar in the same species across time but that some of the variation in slope and/or intercept can be attributed to palaeoclimatic change, as hinted at by our previous work on a single species of cheilostome bryozoans, Antarctothoa tongima, from the same marine basin/fossil assemblage. Our study demonstrates the importance of understanding population level, temporal and macroevolutionary variation in grasping the potential drivers of long-term evolutionary change.

14:30 - 14:45

The Rise of the Age of Mammals and the role of Early Paleocene ‘Condylarth’ Tetraclaenodon (Mammalia, Phenacodontidae) from the San Juan Basin of New Mexico, USA

3Bee

With the dawn of the Paleocene, the mammalian survivors of the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction, 66 million years ago, found themselves in an open landscape. Within the first few million years of the bolide impact, placental mammals reached a diversity and abundance never seen during the Mesozoic. The Paleogene Mammal Working Group (PalM) is deciphering the initial stages of Early Cenozoic placental mammal evolution, with the aim of clarifying the as still uncertain phylogenetic relationships between Paleocene and Eocene mammals and the major groups of extant mammals. North American ‘condylarths’ were amongst the first to diversify following the K-Pg event and are often considered the ancestral ‘stock’ from which later euungulate groups evolved. Amongst these, Phenacodontidae are regularly regarded to lie at the base of the perissodactyl family tree, but their phylogenetic position, and that of other ‘condylarths’, remain contentious. Tetraclaenodon was a gracile, medium-sized (mean body mass ~10Kg), herbivorous phenacodontid, with a bunodont dentition, from the Torrejonian North American Land Mammal Age (~63.8 to ~62.4 Ma). This taxon is generally recognised as the oldest member of Phenacodontidae and is therefore instrumental for untangling the evolutionary relationships of ‘condylarths’. Our research thus far reveals Tetraclaenodon underwent an increase in body mass and a shift in dental proportions that subsequently stabilized throughout the Torrejonian. A similar trend is seen in contemporary populations of the periptychid ‘condylarth’ Periptychus, suggesting that there were selective environmental pressures acting on these herbivorous species. Micro-CT scans of crania of Tetraclaenodon reveal that the brain endocast was relatively small, comparable to that of other Paleocene mammals. The petrosal lobules, which are involved in eye movement coordination, are small. The semi-circular canals associated with balance, provide an agility score of 3 indicating that Tetraclaenodon was moderately agile, similar to the extant raccoon dog or the aardwolf. Multivariate analyses of tarsal measurements, which indicate locomotor style, for a sample of Paleocene and extant mammals reveal that Tetraclaenodon was most suited to terrestrial locomotion, opposed to a more scansorial lifestyle as previously reported. Finally, a preliminary phylogenetic analysis of 171 taxa, including Mesozoic, Early Cenozoic and extant placental mammals, scored for 616 anatomical characters, confirms Tetraclaenodon as the basal most phenacodontid. The PalM research will ultimately produce the most comprehensive phylogenetic tree to date of the first Paleogene placentals, including enigmatic taxa such as taeniodonts, notoungulates and pantodonts, alongside Mesozoic and modern groups of mammals.

14:45 - 15:00

Amber from the Anisian (Middle Triassic) of Kühwiesenkopf/Monte Prà della Vacca

3Bee

Paleontological research carried out during the last decades remarkably increased our knowledge on amber occurrences in the fossil record. The most ancient, quantitatively substantial amber deposit of the world comes from the Late Triassic (Carnian) Heiligkreuz and Rio del Lago formations (Dolomites and Julian Alps). However, more ancient amber occurrences have been found attached to two conifer specimens, respectively from the “Voltzia beds” (Anisian) of the Recoaro area and from the “Wengener Schichten” (Ladinian) of Wengen/La Valle. A case of serendipity led to the discovery of two new Italian amber localities. During the revision of the Middle Triassic (Anisian) fossil plant assemblages of Kühwiesenkopf/Monte Prà della Vacca (northern Dolomites), several tiny dispersed amber drops were discovered. The flora of Kühwiesenkopf/Monte Prà della Vacca is one of the most important witnesses of the recovery of the terrestrial ecosystems after the end-Permian mass extinction. The plant fossils were recovered from lens-shaped siltstone layers, which alternate with silty and marly limestone layers in the succession, in association with few marine fossils (bivalves, brachiopods, ammonoids and fishes). The discovery of amber drops from Kühwiesenkopf/Monte Prà della Vacca led to the re-study of other coeval plant fossil collections, including the one from Piz da Peres, and the discovery of additional dispersed amber drops, once even associated with a conifer shoot fragment of Voltzia recubariensis. This suggests that the amber was produced by Voltzia recubariensis, which is present in the three so far known Anisian amber-yielding localities of the Southern Alps (Kühwiesenkopf/Monte Prà della Vacca, Piz da Peres and Recoaro).

15:00 - 15:15

Growing up big: the largest known cowrie and the evolution of giant cypraeid gastropods

3Bee

The cowries are the best-studied family of gastropods, with a global diversity distribution that parallels that of tropical corals, mangroves and seagrasses. The macroecological and macroevolutionary relationship between diversity and gigantism, two important ecological traits, has never been explored in this family (Cypraeidae). Here we introduce Vicetia bizzottoi sp. nov. based on a Priabonian fossil found in northeastern Italy, the largest documented cowrie found so far and the youngest of a lineage of Eocene Gisortiinae species. Their stratigraphic distribution in western Europe indicates that species selection favoured large size and increased ornamentation. Palaeoecology and the stratigraphic distribution of species richness of the Cypraeidae suggest that gigantism occurs in peripheral habitats with respect to diversity hotspots, where smaller species are favoured. The Eocene–Oligocene boundary was marked by a turnover that favoured small-sized species of clades other than Gisortiinae. Species selection leading to gigantism is again documented in Miocene lineages of Zoila and Umbilia, in the southern hemisphere, at the periphery of contemporaneous diversity hotspots. The decoupled relationship between size and diversity encountered in modern forms is thus a recurring pattern in the evolutionary history of cowries. Possible explanations include physiological and ecological phenomena, and life history constraints.

15:15 - 15:30

A brave new world: A review of the early Triassic terrestrial tetrapod fauna

3Bee

The Permian-Triassic mass extinction (PTME, ca. 252 Mya) eliminated > 90% of marine and terrestrial species and thus can be considered as one of the most severe biotic crises of the entire Phanerozoic. The Early and Middle Triassic represented a long period of recovery with a real ‘revolution’ in the structure of both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Entire new clades emerged after the mass extinction, including decapods and marine reptiles in the oceans and new tetrapods on land, leading in the long term to the new ecosystem structures of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic. The recovery has been interpreted as stepwise and slow in both marine and terrestrial ecosystems, due to a complex combination of continuing environmental perturbations and complex multilevel interaction between species in the new environments as ecosystems reconstructed themselves. In this contribution we present a review of Early Triassic geological formations, and terrestrial tetrapod faunas around the world, and we perform a semi-quantitative analysis of a large data set of Early Triassic terrestrial tetrapods. The analysis highlights a consistent regionalization of Early Triassic terrestrial tetrapods, with palaeolatitudinal belts influencing ecosystems in terms of both taxonomic composition and relative abundance. We thus reject the alleged uniformity (‘cosmopolitanism’) of faunas around Pangaea suggested in the literature as a result of the hot-house climate. The study also shows that the “tetrapod gap” of terrestrial life in the Early Triassic was restricted to palaeolatitudes between 15°N and about 31°S, in contrast to the earlier suggestion of a total absence of tetrapod taxa between 30°N and 40°S. The cluster analysis performed on the taxon presence-absence matrix stresses strong provincialism following the PTME, entirely consistent with Early Triassic palaeobiogeography. An interesting and unexpected finding is an overall pattern for Early Triassic terrestrial tetrapod faunas that largely reflects that of the Late Permian, suggesting that the recovery faunas in the Early Triassic retained some imprint of tetrapod distributions according to palaeogeography and palaeoclimate, despite the near-total extinction of life through the PTME.

Talk session: Lagerstätten

15:45 - 16:00

Diversity, palaeoecology and palaeoenvironmental significance of the Eocene chondrichthyan assemblages of the Bolca Lagerstätte, Italy

3Bee

In the last few years, the anatomy, taxonomy and relationships of the cartilaginous fish taxa of the two main fossiliferous deposits of the Bolca Lagerstätte, the Pesciara and Monte Postale sites, have been extensively discussed in a series of papers, resulting in a complete systematic revision of this neglected component of the Eocene Tethyan ichthyofauna. Here, we present a comprehensive overview of the diversity, palaeoecology and palaeoenvironmental significance of the two chondrichthyan assemblages of the Pesciara and Monte Postale sites. Overall, the assemblages include 14 species-level taxa of sharks (Lamniformes and Carcharhiniformes) and batoids (Torpediniformes, Rhinopristiformes, Myliobatiformes, Platyrhinidae, Zanobatidae), as well as of a single putative chimaeriform. Although the Pesciara and Monte Postale sites are characterized by eight chondrichthyan taxa each, the taxonomic compositions are distinctly different reflecting the dissimilarities in the overall composition of their fish assemblages. Palaeoecological interpretations and habitat preferences of the two chondrichthyan assemblages are consistent with the palaeoenvironmental settings that were previously hypothesized based on sedimentological, palaeontological and geochemical evidences. The two chondrichthyan associations appear to be constituted by ecologically vicariant taxa, being both characterized by a predominance of benthic species with durophagous/cancritrophic feeding mode (mostly batoids), followed by piscivores (especially selachians). A third group, the soft-prey feeders (e.g., torpediniforms) appear to be exclusive of the Monte Postale assemblage. There are no large opportunistic eurytrophic predators (diet mostly based on fishes and other vertebrates) or microphagous filter feeders (diet based mainly on plankton) in these assemblages, possibly because of the absence of specific food items or because the palaeoenvironmental conditions of the shallow water palaeobiotopes precluded the access to these groups. Based on the bathymetric distribution of extant chondrichthyan relatives, our analysis suggests that both the Pesciara and Monte Postale palaeobiotopes were likely characterized by depths reaching 40-50 meters, thereby supporting the assumption of a shallow water inner shelf scenario. In conclusion, taxonomic composition, habitat preferences and palaeobathymetric analyses support the hypothesis that both the assemblages occupied tropical marine shallow waters of the inner portion of the Lessini Shelf, which were surrounded by coral reefs.

16:00 - 16:15

Skin patterning and internal anatomy of a 50 Ma moonfish from the Monte Bolca Lagerstätte

3Bee

The Monte Bolca Lagerstätte (50 Ma, Veneto, Italy) includes abundant teleost fish that preserve soft tissues and integumentary colour patterns in the form of stripes and spots. A recently excavated specimen of the moonfish Mene rhombea (Volta, 1796) from the Pesciara site provides a timely opportunity to investigate the preservation of the soft tissues. The specimen preserves several features defined by dark carbonaceous films: striking longitudinal stripes in the epaxial region, an eyespot and discrete patches in the abdomen. Scanning electron microscopy reveals that all of these features comprise layers of melanosomes – melanin-bearing organelles – and thus the abdominal dark patches represent degraded internal organs. As with other vertebrate fossils, melanosomes from the skin and internal organs differ in geometry; melanosomes from two different regions in the abdomen exhibit different geometry, suggesting that the latter derive from two separate organs, likely to be the kidneys and liver based on the anatomical location. Raman spectra of all melanosome-rich soft tissues are consistent with eumelanin. The longitudinal striping suggests open water lifestyles and/or cooperative shoaling or other mutualistic interactions.

16:15 - 16:30

There is more than meet the eyes: unfolding the diversity, age, and ecology of the Late Cretaceous Villaggio del Pescatore site (Trieste, Italy).

3Bee

The Late Cretaceous Mediterranean archipelago, its geodynamic history, ecological diversity, paleogeography and faunal composition stand as one of the most complex and debated topics related to the evolution of the Tethys Ocean and its continental margins. We conducted a pilot project started in 2019, generating novel and unforeseen outcomes related to one of the most important fossil localities of Europe: the Villaggio del Pescatore site (VdP, Duino-Aurisina, Trieste, Italy). Although this locality has achieved notoriety for the exquisite preservation of its dinosaur-dominated fossil assemblage, the organization of historically neglected and newly re-evaluated data into a unified framework set the ground for a renewed understanding of this site. With more than 450 identifiable fossils (including fish, crocodilian, dinosaurs, pterosaurs, crustaceans, plant remains, invertebrates), microfossils (foraminifera, pollens, ostracods, cyanobacteria), ~200 thin sections for biostratigraphic analyses, more than 100 still unprepared specimens and other still found in situ, the VdP offers a unique, high-resolution window for qualitative and quantitative analyses, including a detailed redefinition of its age. New prospecting activities and extractive processes resulted in additional observations. We here revaluate data presented in the literature as referring exclusively to a very restricted area of approximately 300 square meters of the quarry and document that less than 40% of the site has been so far mapped and support a continuous extension of fossil beds outside the main, protected area. From a sedimentologic perspective, the uniqueness of VdP is represented by sharp facies variations from open marine, shallow-water limestones to organic-rich rhythmites, which interbed with breccias that accumulated as underwater bodies of breccia by subaqueous, density-driven, sedimentary flows. Rhythmites and breccias are folded by slumping and deformed by wet-sediment normal fault. Slumps also raise questions concerning the taphonomy (preservation of land vertebrates in dysoxic to anoxic bottom waters from marginal-marine settings) as well as the interaction between different depositional settings (terrestrial-paralic–shallow marine). The outstanding example of ‘Bruno’ – the second, sub-complete Tethyshadros insularis extracted from the quarry – shows how the mesoscale folding has interested the fossil body harmoniously but maintaining most of its skeletal connections. Based on inventory and new field surveys, we estimate seven articulated skeletons preserved at the VdP site and possibly eleven individuals of T. insularis. Originally described as an insular, pygmy hadrosauroid closely related to hadrosaurids, based on a single specimen. T. insularis is here revised on the basis of multiple individuals, including histological samples, documenting previously unexpected ontogenetic trends and morphological variation in this taxon. The strontium case in modern and past oceans: causal or casual relationships with coccolithophore growth rate and coccolith geometry.

16:30 - 16:45

Who is your father? Botanical affinities of spores and pollen from the Triassic of the Dolomites

3Bee

Spores and pollen are produced in large numbers by plants and distributed by wind, water or animals up to thousands of kilometers away from the source area. Due to their high number (thousands in each sporangium), small size (20-200 μm) and high preservation potential (chemically resistant wall), they are particularly suitable to reconstruct past environments and climate. This works very well in relatively young sediments containing spores/pollen of still living plants or pollen of angiosperms. However, the older the rocks, the higher the percentage of spores and pollen originating from extinct plants, and therefore with unknown biological affinity. In order to reconstruct the botanical affinity, it is necessary to identify the original plant, and in particular the corresponding reproductive organs, whether cones or fertile leaves of various groups of ferns. Finally, not all organs were mature at the time of burial, and therefore do not always contain fully developed microspores. In the Dolomites, there are a number of fossiliferous localities (Kühwiesenkopf/Monte Prá della Vacca, Piz da Peres, Rifugio Dibona) with fossil plants from the Triassic in an exceptionally well-preserved state of conservation. Dozens of different species of horsetails, lycophytes, ferns, seed ferns, cycads and conifers were found, always containing vegetative organs (stems, branches, leaves) but often also with the presence of male and female reproductive organs. The detailed study of these reproductive organs permits to identify the palaeobotanical affinity of a considerable number of spores and pollen types previously known only dispersed in the sediment. These findings make it possible to reconstruct the various ontogenetic stages of microspores and to identify intraspecific variability within individual sporangia. An important aspect is also to verify the morphological variability developed in the same sporangium, as the increase of 'abnormal' (or 'mutated') forms is often related to stressed environments such as during mass extinctions.

Talk session: Tools in Paleontology

17:00 - 17:15

If the Universe is teeming with life… where are the Martian ichnofossils? Application of palaeontological predictive modelling for the search of extraterrestrial life

3Bee

Seeking signs of past life (biosignatures) in the geological record of Mars is one of the primary goals of the NASA Mars 2020 mission. To this aim, the Perseverance rover landed on February 18th, 2021 on Jezero Crater, an impact crater that is located in the NE region of Mars. The resolution of the Perseverance tools allows imaging of potential products of life-substrate interactions, such as burrows, borings, trails, stromatolites and microbial-induced sedimentary structures (MISS). Nevertheless, their study (ichnology) received little attention in the context of the Mars 2020 mission. This is surprising because ichnofossils are among the most abundant signatures of life on Earth, therefore, they may provide evidence of potential life that may have existed on Mars. The goal of this study is to evaluate the suitability of the Mars 2020 Landing Site for ichnofossils. Accordingly, we apply palaeontological predictive modelling, a technique used to forecast the location of fossil sites in uninvestigated areas on Earth. A geographic information system (GIS) of the landing site is developed. Each layer of the GIS maps the suitability for one or more ichnofossil types (bioturbation, bioerosion, biostratification structures) based on an assessment of a suitability factor of the Martian environment. Suitability criteria have been selected among the environmental attributes that control ichnofossil abundance and preservation in 18 reference sites on Earth, including Penha Garcia (Ordovician, Portugal), Bayanzag (Cretaceous, Mongolia), and the Ventimiglia Delta (Pliocene, Italy). Three predictive maps are delivered. These show which areas of the Mars 2020 Landing Site are more likely to preserve ichnofossils if any. Based on these maps, it is identified an ichnological strategy for the Perseverance rover, indicating (1) 10 sites on Mars with high suitability for bioturbation, bioerosion and biostratification ichnofossils, (2) the ichnofossil types, if any, that are more likely to be present at each site, (3) the most efficient observation strategy for detecting eventual ichnofossils. The predictive maps and the ichnological strategy can be easily integrated into the existing plans for the exploration of the Jezero crater, realizing benefits in life-search efficiency and cost‐reduction.

17:15 - 17:30

Pleistocene lithobiont communities from Sicily

3Bee

Lithobiont communities consist of a variety of taxa that are able to live inside (borers) and on (sessile epibionts with diversified fixing behaviours and structures) rocky surfaces including extensive outcrops as well as boulders and cobbles. Such communities mostly develop along rocky shores showing remarkable differences between exposed and sheltered to cryptic habitats and subordinately in deep (circalittoral to bathyal) settings where hard lithic substrata are available or locally form due to early diagenesis cementation. The under-representation of colonizable hard-surfaces in relation to soft bottoms and their prevalent location in high energy settings, joined with the composition of lithobiont communities usually dominated by soft-bodied organisms (such as soft algae and sponges), affect their preservation and recovery. Consequently, lithobiont communities are usually rare or exceptional in the fossil record including trace fossils (essentially domichnia and fixichnia) and cemented skeletonized organisms including molluscs, scleractinians, brachiopods, serpulids and bryozoans with the last two taxonomic groups often playing a relevant role. Records from southern Italy, especially Sicily, are growing in the last decades. Besides widespread documentation about very shallow lithobiont communities often associated with morphological markers of past sea levels, sparse information is now available for different settings including palaeocommunities from infralittoral cobbles and pebbles, shallow-water completely dark submarine caves, deep circalittoral and bathyal scarps and large blocks associated to active faulting. A short overview of the serpulid and bryozoan biodiversity associated with these habitats will be provided together with preliminary information about a new finding (Vallone Loddiero, Militello in Val di Catania, Sicily) of a pioneer community encrusting the free surfaces offered by just ejected submarine volcanic products.

17:30 - 17:45

UV light photography: unraveling the different applications in palaeontology

3Bee

The analysis of fossil specimens under ultraviolet (UV) light represents a new field of research which only in the last twenty years has been explored as a powerful tool to be used in palaeontology. Up to now this technique has been applied mainly on mollusc shells, but the number of studies dealing with other taxa, like vertebrate specimens, is increasing. Despite this, the analysis of fossil specimens under UV light represents a technique still in evolution; the knowledge of the best procedure of sample preparation and photography still needs to be deeply examined and new data to better understand the real potential of this method are required. After testing different procedures of specimen preparation and different photographic techniques in order to define a methodological protocol for the analysis of fossil specimens under UV light, we explore the diverse uses of UV light technique in palaeontology analyzing fossil specimens coming from different stratigraphic contexts (from the Permian to the Holocene, from Oman to Italy), having a different mineralogy and belonging to different taxa (bivalves, gastropods, brachiopods, crustaceans and reptile); also, we use two different wavelengths: the commonly used 365 nm, and the 440 nm, a “borderline wavelength” here adopted for the first time. As previously observed, the main application of UV light is for systematic purposes. Residual colour patterns in mollusc shells are rarely observable under visible light but can be revealed under UV light, as formerly pigmented regions of the shell fluoresce. Also, this technique allows to differentiate between specimens and matrix; indeed, it improves the visualization of specimens that are, in visible light, difficult to distinguish in colour or texture from the surrounding matrix providing greater clarity of some details like soft anatomical tissues. Finally, the use of UV light provides an inexpensive method to detect man-made interventions in fossil specimens and thus fake fossils.

17:45 - 18:00

A possible way towards a comprehensive database of plant macrofossil records from the Cenozoic of Italy

3Bee

Plant macrofossils from the Cenozoic of Italy are studied at least since two centuries, but a comprehensive database of published records still does not exist, even if it could be useful for several purposes. Scientists eventually interested in such fossil records usually need to consult personally the few competent palaeobotanists. These, however, do not have a complete database at hands, themselves, and are often forced to a time-consuming search for obscure or sparse literature sources, sometimes not yet digitalized. Here, we propose to start a process of expansion and publication of an existing database, called CENOFITA. This is presently biased towards the Neogene/Quaternary records and towards specific plant parts, but constitutes, indeed, the largest list of plant macrofossil records presently available for the Cenozoic of Italy. Such database originated from the need of cataloguing and analyzing a growing number (up to millions) of specimens of a vast fruit and seed (palaeocarpological) collection, which was developed, and is still presently hosted at the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Turin. Actually, the name CENOFITA was also applied to that collection, made up of thousands of centimeter-sized boxes which concentrate in only three sets of drawers a precious documentation of the distribution in Italy of entire genera and families of plants over the last six million years. The collection provides an ideal environment for the identification of new palaeocarpological material, by comparison with the existing one and with the associated extant samples. Under current conditions, the CENOFITA ​​collection allows rapid observation, updating and taxonomic revision of materials representing entire systematic groups. This opportunity will be warranted also in the future if this will remain an ""elastic collection"", capable of continuous integration and expansion, and a collaboration with the Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali of Turin was recently started in order to reach this goal. Of course, the CENOFITA database could be even more ""elastic"", through its decoupling from the CENOFITA ​​collection and its implementation with as many records as possible of plant macrofossil material stored in other Italian collections. In the occasion of Paleodays 2021, the CENOFITA database will be opened to all the new entries concerning Italian plant macrofossil records from Palaeocene to Pleistocene. In order to facilitate and stimulate contributions, a new version of the Microsoft Excel file of the CENOFITA database will be freely released. Those who may be interested in contributing new data to the CENOFITA database will just need to check the structure of the existing Microsoft Excel sheet and provide similarly arranged records. The authors will take care to evaluate and appropriately filter the contributed data and finally release new, freely available versions of the database during the next years.

Opening Session

08:00 - 08:15

Welcome

In fase di definizione , 3Bee

08:15 - 08:45

Conservation paleobiology uncovers massive biodiversity loss in the Eastern Mediterranean

3Bee

Conservation paleobiology is an emerging discipline that provides high-resolution records of ecosystem change and variation spanning the whole of human history, enabling the reconstruction of ecological baselines and the trajectories of ecosystem states on timescales well beyond the limits of ecological monitoring. Indeed, there is now consensus amongst conservation biologists that to give proper context to modern day conditions we must include historical perspectives. The eastern Mediterranean ecosystem is under multiple pressures such as biological invasions due to the opening of the Suez Canal, nutrient and sediment flow modification due to the damming of the Nile, resource extraction, pollution and accelerating anthropogenic climate warming. However, ecological monitoring has occurred only since the second half of the 20th century with many areas severely underexplored. Climate warming is causing the poleward shift of species distributions. In the Mediterranean Sea, this implies the northward retreat of their southern edges. This semi-enclosed basin, however, is not in natural contact with a suitable pool from which thermophilic species could replace the disappearing ones. The result is a net diversity loss, which cannot be quantified in the absence of baselines. We reconstructed such baselines on the Israeli shelf from shelly death assemblages and dated them with radiocarbon to put our results in a temporal context. We recorded only 12% and 5% of historically present native species on shallow subtidal soft and hard substrates, respectively. This is the largest documented climate-driven regional-scale diversity loss in the oceans. In contrast, assemblages in the intertidal, more tolerant to climatic extremes, and in the cooler mesophotic zone show ~50% of the historical native richness. Importantly, ~60% of the recorded shallow subtidal native species do not reach reproductive size, making the shallow shelf a demographic sink. The Suez Canal established an artificial connection between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea thermophilic species pool. These tropical non-indigenous species thrive in the Mediterranean, where they encounter environmental conditions not dissimilar from those in their native distribution, and counteract in terms of net diversity the collapse of native species. As the climate continues to warm, the native biodiversity collapse described here will intensify and expand geographically and local communities will become more and more dominated by Indo-Pacific species. These restructured assemblages, shaped by climate warming and biological invasions, are giving rise to a ‘novel ecosystem’ whose restoration to historical baselines is not achievable.

Break

10:50 - 11:20

Mid-morning break / Question time Blitz session

3Bee

12:50 - 14:00

Lunch Break

3Bee

15:30 - 15:45

Mid-Afternoon Break

In fase di definizione

16:45 - 17:00

Mid-afternoon break

3Bee

Poster Session

18:00 - 18:45

Poster session: Q&A via chat

In fase di definizione

Blitz session: Cross disciplinary

15:15 - 15:20

An empirical study of the B/Ca proxy in calcareous red algae

3Bee

Calcareous red algae have a long and rich fossil record and a widely recognized importance as paleoclimate archives. Their geochemical composition is used to infer past seawater temperature, salinity, and pH . The B/Ca ratio in benthic foraminifera has been used as a proxy for past CO32 concentrations, but scarce data exist on B/Ca in coralline algae, and its driving factors. Recent experiments on cultured Neogoniolithon sp. showed an inverse relationship between seawater dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and B/Ca. B and Ca contents were measured by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) in the maerl species Lithothamnion corallioides, which has a wide geographic distribution in European waters. Samples were collected in the Mediterranean Sea (Pontian Islands, 66 m depth; Elba, 45 m depth and Aegadian Islands, 40 m depth), and in the NE Atlantic Ocean (Morlaix Bay, 12 m depth). DIC data from the sampling sites have been extracted by CMEMS (E.U. Copernicus Marine Service Information) products, and the Kruskal-Wallis test was run in R 3.6.3 software to evaluate B/Ca differences among samples. The B/Ca ratio showed significant differences among samples (p<0.01). The mean DIC was lower in the Atlantic Ocean, where the alga registered high B/Ca values. In Pontian Isl., the deepest site, the B/Ca was significantly lower than the other Mediterranean sites (p<0.01), despite very similar DIC. The measurements on growth rates resulted in a lower rate in Pontian Isl. (0.10 mm/yr), compared to the other samples (~0.13 mm/yr), likely related to the variations in light availability with depth. In general, the differences in growth rates among samples explained the shifts between DIC results and the expected B/Ca. In the light of this evidence, we suggest a growth rate influence on the B incorporation in this alga. As known for other geochemical signals, the B/Ca is therefore subject to algal growth patterns which should be carefully investigated in the attempt to reconstruct the paleoclimate.

15:20 - 15:25

Conservation Paleobiology Research Coordination Network

3Bee

The Conservation Paleobiology Network (CPN) is an initiative to transform the academic discipline of conservation paleobiology into an applied science that informs conservation and restoration efforts. The primary goal is to convert conservation paleobiology from a cluster of novel academic projects into an applied science that transfers geohistorical data to stakeholder groups and is responsive to stakeholder needs. We achieve this by bringing together scientists and stakeholders (communities, agencies, and industry) to ensure that historical archives effectively assist conservation efforts. The network centers on community-building activities, career development, and student education programs. So far, we have over 500 members from 43 countries, and continue to add new members weekly. The project aims for both internal integration (i.e., bringing together disparate efforts, establishing best practices, connecting efforts across regions, and coordinating training in best practices) and external integration (i.e., networking of scientists and stakeholders to make conservation paleobiology a translational science wherein new knowledge evolves via interactions between scientists and scientific data users). To achieve these goals, we are using grass-roots strategies to build an international Community of Practice which is currently in the process of developing (1) Working Groups that tackle key questions of conservation paleobiology; (2) System-Focused Field Courses that engage students, junior faculty, and stakeholders; (3) Webinars dedicated to training future conservation scientists/practitioners; and (4) Annual Symposium on Conservation Paleobiology. The network also has members dedicated specifically to the topics of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within the network and Student Resources. The Conservation Paleobiology Network is an international community-developed (grass-roots) initiative that is supported by a five year grant from the National Science Foundation (USA).

15:25 - 15:30

Ocean surface dynamic reconstruction at IODP Site U1313 since the Last Glacial Maximum

3Bee

The dramatic climate transitions that took place on Earth starting from the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) are well recorded in the marine sedimentary sequences of the North Atlantic. In particular, many important advances in paleoceanography have been focused in this area since it is influenced by the northern part of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, and thus it is a reference region for its response to the global climate variations. This study focuses on the reconstruction of global changes that occurred from the LGM to the Holocene ( ̴ 25-6 kyr) in the North Atlantic and in detail at the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Site U1313 (41.00°N; 32.57°W). The climate variability interpretation at this site was achieved with high resolution paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic analyses focused on changes in coccolithophore structure assemblages. Coccolithophores, haptophyte algae living in the photic zone, are considered an excellent proxy to investigate paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic changes as well as the surface paleoproductivity fluctuations because of their biogeographic distributions and abundances as consequence of environmental changes. The Site U1313 is located at the base of the upper western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in a water depth of 3426 m, ~240 miles northwest of the Azores Islands. Today, the Site is influenced by the surface waters of the North Atlantic Current (NAC) and, at a water depth of 3426 m, by the North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW). The NAC flows from west to east into the North Atlantic and forms a transitional zone between the subpolar Front, at north, and the North Atlantic Transitional Waters (NATW), at south. Furthermore, the region is characterised by high eddy activity favouring surface water productivity. The age model for the Site U1313 was calculated following Lang and collaborators. Samples analysed for this study belong to holes C and D. For quantitative analyses, a minimum of 500 coccoliths have been counted per slide in different number of visual fields using a polarizing microscope at 1000x magnification. This allowed us to reach a 95% level of confidence for all species present in at least 1% abundance. Absolute abundances (coccoliths per gram of sediment) and nannofossil accumulation rates (NAR; coccoliths cm-2 ka-1) were estimated following Flores and Sierro (1997). Results highlight high values of the total NAR until ̴ 17 ka which, together with paleoproductivity proxies and cold and warm water proxies have been used to provide the paleoceanographic reconstruction of sea-surface dynamics mainly related to variations of the NAC and NATW over the area.

15:30 - 15:35

Taxononomy and paleobiology of the Late Cretaceous shark Cretodus crassidens (Elasmobranchii; Lamniformes)

3Bee

Like many other extinct chondrichthyans, the shark Cretodus, was primarily based on isolated teeth coming from ‘mid’ Cretaceous marine deposits worldwide. The genus includes five species: C. semiplicatus, C. crassidens, C. longiplicatus, C. gigantea and C. houghtonorum. C. houghtonorum is the only species originally based on a partial articulated skeleton. Here we discuss the specific attribution of another partial articulated skeleton of Cretodus from the Turonian of NE Italy, recently described by Amalfitano and collaborators, and some associated and poorly described Cretodus tooth sets from the Turonian of England. The Italian skeleton is remarkable, being associated with a pellet-like accumulation of turtle bones alongside the vertebral column of the shark, which was interpreted as the gastric content of the shark. This specimen is known since 1997 and was attributed to Cretodus in a first draft of its description in 2015 evidencing strong affinities with C. crassidens. Amalfitano and collaborators prudently attributed the specimen to Cretodus sp. focusing the attention only on the fossil association with the turtle remains. Recently Shimada & Everhart, describing the new species C. houghtonorum discussed the differences with other species and key specimens of the genus, proposing to attribute the Italian skeleton to C. crassidens. The taxonomic attribution to C. crassidens is here finally confirmed and expanded. Some pathologies are identified and described in the tooth set. Further paleobiological remarks are discussed, such as body size, overall morphology and correlated paleoecology, age estimate and growth model.

15:35 - 15:40

The microfossil record of Holocene millennial-scale ecosystems shifts in a microtidal coastal system from the Po coastal plain

3Bee

Microfossils are considered valuable indicators of past environmental changes, thanks to their sensitivity to ecological perturbations. Specifically, the abundance and complementary distribution of benthic foraminifers and ostracods from freshwater to marine settings make them excellent ecological indicators in a suite of aquatic habitats, including coastal ecosystems posed at risk by allogenic and autogenic forcings. In this context, the Holocene succession of the Po coastal plain (NE Italy) represents a valuable archive where microfossils can shed light on past ecosystem dynamics in relationship with major changes in Relative Sea Level, climate or river processes. We analyzed the paleobiological record (benthic foraminifers, ostracods and palinomorphs) of three cores located along a 35 km transect typifying a Holocene microtidal coastal ecosystem. Multivariate elaborations on microfossil groups and the combination with stratigraphic and chronologic data allowed to identify four main tipping points of paleoecological changes recorded throughout the study area. In response to the accelerating sea level rise at 8.2 kcal yr BP, low accumulation rates on the shelf and low confinement associated to high hydrodynamic regime in transitional settings are indicated by benthic foraminifers and ostracods, whereas pollens record an intense peatland growth inland. Then, benthic foraminifers record the shift towards increasing organic matter concentrations in the marine sector, linked to the incipient riverine inputs at the onset of highstand conditions ca. 7.0 kcal yr BP. In the transitional and inland sectors, microfossils indicate the persistence of a tidally-influenced bay surrounded by peatlands connected to the climate optimum stability. In correspondence to the third tipping point at 4.8 kcal yr BP, ostracods testify the closure of the bay and pollens indicate the development of a wooded peatland landward, as response to the increased sediment input connected to major climate variability. All the microfossil groups responded to the Ficarolo avulsion occurred at 0.8 kcal yr BP: benthic foraminifers and ostracods record water depth decrease in the marine realm, associated to flooding events and high disturbance landward as indicated by ostracods and pollens. This study reveals the powerfulness of an integrated paleobiological approach from continental to marine realms within a highly variable Holocene microtidal ecosystem. Benthic foraminifer assemblages reveal changes in organic matter and degree of confinement, whereas ostracods track shifts in water depth and salinity in the shelf and back-barrier sectors, respectively. Landward, palinomorphs trace environmental disturbance linked to oscillating water table and river regime.

15:40 - 15:45

Benthic foraminiferal characterization of Holocene Prodelta successions from the Mediterranean record: Biotic and stratigraphic implications

3Bee

At a basin scale, subaqueous deltas embody a crucial step of the sediment routing from a source-to-sink perspective and they represent a key architectural element of platforms worldwide. Onshore, the tens m-thick prodelta muds buried beneath modern delta plains are valuable sedimentary archives as well, recording the Holocene phases of delta upbuilding since about 8000-7000 cal yr BP when highstand relative sea level conditions established across the Mediterranean Sea. The high accumulation rates (up to cm/yr) and the fine-grained character of these shallow-marine deposits allow investigating past environmental dynamics and processes at a high-frequency scale, through the application of a stratigraphic-based multivariate approach on cored successions. We quantitatively analysed and compared the benthic foraminiferal content of Holocene prodelta successions belonging to three Mediterranean deltas, which currently show different morphologies (from lobate to cuspate) and fluvial discharges: Po Delta (N Adriatic Sea), Rhône Delta (Gulf of Lions) and Arno Delta (Ligurian Sea). Six recurring groups of taxa were highlighted by the R-mode cluster analysis applied on the final matrix including a total of 69 samples (31 from the Po Delta, 21 from the Arno Delta and 17 from the Rhône Delta). These groups reflect foraminiferal associations thriving prodelta (palaeo)environments characterised by specific substrate features, including organic matter availability and hydrodynamic conditions. The vertical stacking pattern of the identified foraminiferal associations and the integration with nMDS (non-Metric Multidimensional Scaling) results allowed: i) the visualization of the (palaeo)community changes through time within each prodelta setting and ii) the identification of similarities and differences in the evolution trajectories of the selected deltas, revealing past river plume-longshore currents interactions at the shelf bottom.

15:45 - 15:50

Focus on sea surface water characteristics in the Gulf of Cadiz during Early Pleistocene: evidence from coccolithophores

3Bee

Quantitative analyses have been carried out on coccolithophores from sediments of Site U1387 recovered in the Gulf of Cadiz, with a 0.3ky temporal resolution, according to the age model of Voelker and collaborators. The study interval from MIS 48 to MIS 46 (1468.41 ka-1411.83 ka) focuses on Early Pleistocene climate variability (“41 ka world”) and supports the research of the QUIGS (QUateraryInterGlacialS) and PAGES (Past Global Changes) projects. The Nannofossil Accumulation Rate ranges from 1316 to 46517 coccoliths/cm²kyr and its pattern through time doesn’t show a particular correlation with the glacial-interglacial phases displayed by the oxygen isotope record of Voelkerand collaborators. Gephyrocapsids are the dominant group of the coccolith assemblage with percentages up to 80%. The reworked coccoliths and the lithic or mineral elements (> 10 μm) have been also counted to monitor variability in terrigenous supply. The abundance fluctuations of key taxa, such as Gephyrocapsa caribbeanica, Coccolithus pelagicus, warm water taxa, large Gephyrocapsa (> 5.5 μm), as well as of the reworked and lithic elements, allow the recognition of glacial (MIS 48 and 46) and interglacial (MIS 47) phases, in agreement with δ18O G. bulloides pattern. The peculiar higher abundance of large Gephyrocapsa during glacial periods clearly evidences, for the first time, a preference of this morphotype for colder surface waters. The principal component analysis (PCA) performed on the assemblages shows that temperature (Factor 1) was the primary parameter that influenced coccolithophore assemblage composition, although productivity (Factor 2) also played a role. Factor 2 shows a high correlation index (r= +0,83) with the paleoproductivity index of Flores and collaborators. The major increase of coccolithophore productivity is recorded during selected interval of both glacial and interglacial phases. This pattern is linked to greater availability of nutrients in surface waters, a condition that at the core location is usually connected to a greater land-derived input, and/or to upwelling phenomena depending on the changes in the atmospheric process and oceanographic dynamics along the coast.

15:50 - 15:55

Analisi dei resti avifaunistici provenienti dai livelli Epigravettiani del sito di Riparo Tagliente (Stallavena di Grezzana,Verona)

3Bee

Questo contributo è incentrato sull’analisi sistematica e tafonomica dei resti fossili avifaunistici rinvenuti all’interno del sito archeologico di Riparo Tagliente (Stellavena di Grezzana, Verona, Italia). L’area di provenienza dei reperti su cui si basa questo sito è situata sui monti Lessini, a nord-ovest di Verona, sul versante sinistro della Valpantena, alla base del monte Tregnago, sotto un riparo roccioso formato da calcari oolitici. Il confronto e la determinazione dei resti fossili sono avvenuti grazie alla collezione ornitologica di confronto conservata presso la Sezione di Scienze Preistoriche e Antropologiche del Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici dell’Università di Ferrara. Il campione avifaunistico analizzato proviene dalle campagne di scavo effettuate tra il 1983 e il 2010 ed assomma a 351 resti ossei (determinati e non). L’analisi tassonomica ha rilevato almeno 8 ordini e 12 specie, che indicano la presenza di un insieme di ambienti diversificati nelle immediate vicinanze. Si può evincere che la zona fosse costituita da aree aperte, foreste di conifere, praterie alpine con sporadici affioramenti rocciosi, aree erbose e probabilmente cespugliate e specchi d’acqua a debole intensità. L’analisi tafonomica ha rilevato alcune modificazioni antropiche, che attestano lo sfruttamento a scopo alimentare dell’avifauna da parte delle popolazioni epigravettiane. Tracce di combustione sono conservate su 3 reperti e cut-marks sono visibili su 18; ulteriori analisi hanno altresì evidenziato, all'interno del riparo, l’azione di piccoli carnivori, roditori e rapaci notturni come agenti di accumulo dei depositi. Infine si può affermare che le avifaune identificate a Riparo Tagliente rispecchiano le caratteristiche climatiche e paleoambientali ipotizzate fino a questo momento; l’alta presenza di Anseriformes è legata sicuramente all’habitat favorevole, caratterizzato anche dalla prossima vicinanza del fiume e delle probabili acque ristagnanti che dovevano trovarsi a pochi metri dal riparo; i Passeriformes si adattano facilmente agli ambienti e apprezzano le zone rocciose, ma richiedono anche la presenza di piante e abbondante vegetazione.

15:55 - 16:00

Conservazione e valorizzazione delle collezioni storiche: la collezione paleontologica "Georg Gasser"

3Bee

A cavallo fra la fine dell’Ottocento e i primi del Novecento, Georg Gasser, naturalista autodidatta, si dedicò alla creazione di quella che a livello storico è certamente una delle più importanti collezioni naturalistiche presenti in Alto Adige. Realizzata all’interno della sua casa secondo il tipico allestimento delle “Wunderkammer”, la raccolta di esemplari di interesse naturalistico divenne un’attrazione pubblica, tanto da comparire nelle guide di viaggio dell’epoca, che ne suggerivano la visita. La collezione Gasser è costituita da reperti di carattere botanico, zoologico, archeologico, mineralogico e paleontologico di varia provenienza, sia italiana che estera. La sezione che raggiunse maggiore notorietà è quella mineralogica, allestita e curata metodicamente con criteri che per l’epoca possono essere considerati esemplari. Alla morte di Gasser, parte della sua raccolta venne acquisita dall’Istituto Mineralogico dell’Università di Padova, mentre altri reperti furono venduti privatamente. La maggior parte dei reperti botanici, zoologici ed archeologici andarono dispersi. Ciò che rimase della collezione fu donato dagli eredi, nell’ottica di realizzare un museo di storia naturale nella città di Bolzano. Da questo nucleo originale si sviluppò e venne fondato, poi, il Museo di Scienze Naturali dell’Alto Adige. Poca attenzione è stata finora dedicata alla sezione paleontologica della collezione Gasser. Un recente progetto di ricerca promosso dal Museo di Scienze Naturali dell’Alto Adige prevede ora la pulizia, la documentazione fotografica, l’inventariazione e la catalogazione dei beni paleontologici della collezione, inclusa la digitalizzazione delle informazioni relative. Completa il percorso la revisione scientifica e tassonomica in atto. Il progetto persegue il duplice scopo di favorire la conservazione dei reperti e la loro valorizzazione, e di ricostruire dal punto di vista storico le finalità e gli interessi perseguiti da Gasser. Un interessante nucleo della collezione Gasser è rappresentato dai reperti provenienti dalle regioni alpine, sia italiane che austriache, che costituiscono circa il 30% della collezione complessiva, focalizzando soprattutto sul Triassico e sull’Eocene. Il restante 70% della collezione può essere inquadrato come raccolta didattico-divulgativa, intesa a fornire al visitatore del museo una panoramica dei principali gruppi tassonomici nonché delle diverse epoche geologiche, con un’attenzione particolare ai siti “classici” particolarmente in auge a cavallo fra Otto e Novecento: Bolca, Solnhofen, i bacini carboniferi dell’Europa centrale, il Terziario della Francia e della Bassa Austria. Va notato che fatta eccezione per pochi pezzi raccolti da Gasser personalmente, la quasi totalità della collezione fu composta negli anni attraverso acquisizioni avvenute con modalità ancora da chiarire, almeno in parte acquisti mirati presso commercianti di fossili dell’epoca.

16:00 - 16:05

Exploring shell variations dynamics of the bivalve Chamelea gallina on a millennial temporal scale: from the Holocene sub-fossil record to modern thanatocoenoses of the Northern Adriatic Sea

3Bee

Marine calcifying organisms such as bivalves are expected to be severely impacted by the ongoing climate change. To design proper conservation and management strategies is critical to understand species‘ long term adaptive response to changing environment. In this light, investigation of the recent fossil record can give access to an archive of ecological responses to past climate-driven environmental transitions: mollusk shells biomineralization is in fact influenced by the environmental surroundings, reflected on geochemical properties, microstructure and growth rate of the shell. Here, skeletal parameters (micro-density and apparent porosity) and growth parameters (bulk density, linear extension and net calcification rates) of the bivalve Chamelea gallina were investigated in two different geomorphologic configuration of North Adriatic coastal systems along the Holocene (estuarine vs deltaic system).Four shoreface-related C. gallina horizons are being evaluated: two from the present-day Adriatic setting and two from the Middle Holocene sedimentary succession of the Adriatic-Po system, when the study area was characterized by barrier-lagoon-estuary depositional systems and higher regional temperature than today. Shells from past estuarine settings of the Holocene Climatic Optimum presented a denser exoskeleton than modern ones, possibly as a result of different mineralization rates driven by environmental parameters, especially temperature. The net calcification rates on the contrary are higher in modern specimens from deltaic/strandplain depositional system, as a result of a significant increase in linear extension rates. Modern specimens seem to promote faster growth rate, at the expense of a less dense shell. This approach should offer insights on the adaptive capacities of C. gallina to climate-driven environmental shifts and offers insights for assessing anthropogenic impacts on this economically relevant species

Opening Session

08:20 - 08:30

Welcome

In fase di definizione , In fase di definizione

08:30 - 09:00

Controllo ambientale e climatico sulla proliferazione dei bivalvi con conchiglia a bastone (club-like shell) del Mesozoico

3Bee

Il Mesozoico registra la diffusione di bivalvi a forma di bastone (club-like shell, CLS) con conchiglie allungate in direzione dorso-ventrale, una ridotta cavità palleale, margini ventrali flessibili e senza cerniera. I CLS rappresentano un processo di convergenza adattativa tra generi di famiglie diverse (Plicatostylidae, Plicatulidae, Ostreidae) che derivano da progenitori sessili di substrati duri. Data l’assenza di un piede funzionale, i CLS rappresentano un adattamento secondario a substrati mobili con alti tassi di sedimentazione, stabilizzandosi passivamente nel fondale con la conchiglia che agisce da ancora (mud-sticking bottom stabilization). Alcuni di essi hanno avuto un rilevante ruolo nella produzione di rocce sedimentarie. Recenti ricerche hanno messo in evidenza il controllo climatico sulla loro diffusione ed estinzione. I plicatostylidi sono rappresentati da tre generi monospecifici chiamati informalmente lithiotidi i quali possedevano conchiglie essenzialmente aragonitiche con microstrutture fibroso-prismatiche e madreperlacee. Essi mostrano una distribuzione geografica globale, ma una breve durata temporale (Pliensbachiano-Toarciano inf.). La diffusione è avvenuta nella fase di miglioramento climatico successiva alle fluttuazioni negative del d13C registrate dal Sinemurian-Pliensbachian Event. L’estinzione è invece imputabile agli effetti letali (riscaldamento, acidificazione, eutrofizzazione, etc.) prodotti dall’evento anossico del Toarciano inferiore (Posenato et al. 2018). I CLS del Cretaceo sono rappresentati dall’ostreide Konbostrea e dal plicatulide Chondrodonta. Il primo genere è ristretto al Turoniano-Coniaciano del Giappone; il secondo mostra invece un’estensione areale e temporale molto più ampia essendo presente in tutta la Tetide dal Barremiano al Turoniano. Chondrodonta mostra una spiccata variabilità ecomorfica, tipica dei bivalvi adattati secondariamente a substrati mobili, con stili di vita che variano da pleurotetici, con conchiglie a coppa, ad ortotetici con conchiglie a bastone. La conchiglia presenta uno strato esterno di calcite foliata ed uno interno aragonitico, spesso affetto da dissoluzione diagenetica precoce. Le valve sono strettamente agganciate da un lungo condroforo per cui si rinvengono quasi sempre articolate. Nel Cretaceo Inferiore è comune C. glabra con piccole conchiglie (ca 10-15 cm di altezza), moderatamente allungate e tendenzialmente lisce. Questa specie ha prodotto accumuli biogenici paucispecifici prossimi all’evento anossico dell’Aptiano inferiore (OAE1a, Livello Selli). Nei calcari a rudiste del Cenomaniano superiore, prossimi all’evento anossico OAE2, sono comuni gli accumuli di C. joannae, una specie con grandi conchiglie (> 50 cm), spesso con vistosi ornamenti radiali e con morfotipi di CLS (Posenato et al. 2020). Analisi bio-cronostratigrafiche, tafonomiche e geochimiche suggeriscono che le proliferazioni di Chondrodonta possano costituire un bioevento indicatore di instabilità ambientale (p.e., bassa ossigenazione ed incremento dei nutrienti) che precede gli eventi anossici del Cretaceo (del Viscio et al. in press).

Break

10:45 - 11:15

Mid-morning break

In fase di definizione

12:45 - 14:00

Lunch Break

In fase di definizione

16:05 - 16:35

Mid-afternoon break

In fase di definizione

Talk session: Taxonomy and phylogeny

09:00 - 09:15

Equus stenonis Cocchi, 1867 (Perissodactyla, Mammalia). An updated review of the species with new remarks on the European Early Pleistocene Equus taxonomy and on the Old World Equus Evolution.

3Bee

Equus stenonis is one of the most iconic and important mammal species in the European Early Pleistocene, well known from several fossil localities spanning from 2.5 – 1.5 Ma. Nevertheless, in the last century, its taxonomy and evolutionary placement in the Old World Equus evolution have been extensively debated. Indeed, the European E. stenonis populations have been divided in several subspecies (E. stenonis stenonis, E. stenonis vireti, E. stenonis guthi, E. stenonis senezensis, E. stenonis pueblensis, E. stenonis olivolanus, E. stenonis anguinus, E. stenonis pamirensis, E. stenonis mygdoniensis), even if some of these subspecies were identified in the same sample (e.g. La Puebla de Valverde, Olivola and Senèze). Equus stenonis’ disputed interpretations go well beyond debates concerned with its alpha taxonomy. An even more interesting and crucial controversial issue concerns E. stenonis role in the evolutionary history of the genus Equus and in the origin of modern zebras’ evolutionary lineage. Indeed, some authors proposed to split the Old world Equus species into three different genera, Plesippus, Allohippus and Equus, including E. stenonis in the genus Allohippus and the North American Equus simplicidens in the genus Plesippus. Herein, we propose an update review of the E. stenonis subspecies by morphological, morphometrical and statistical comparisons, within a new phylogenetic analysis to test the validity of the genera Plesippus, Allohippus and Equus.

09:15 - 09:30

Oreopithecus bambolii: does “molecular paleontology” can help us in better understanding such a peculiar fossil ape?

3Bee

Oreopithecus evolved under insularity conditions on the Tusco-Sardinian palaeobioprovince, surviving there until 7.0–6.5 Ma and being the last European Miocene ape to become extinct (Rook, 2016; Rook et al., 2011). Since the time of its first description by P. Gervais (1872), the taxonomic and phylogenetic status of the large-bodied hominoid O. bambolii has represented some of the most controversial issues in palaeontology (Delson, 1987; Moya Sola & Kohler, 1997). Although Oreopithecus is today broadly accepted as a hominoid, its phylogenetic position is uncertain and debated (Moyá-Solá & Köhler, 1997; Rook et al., 1999; Hammond et al., 2020). This taxon displays a unique mosaic of derived hominid features and more primitive features, including evolutionary convergences with both bipedal hominins and cercopithecid monkeys. Accordingly, Oreopithecus is still considered a somewhat “enigmatic anthropoid” (Delson, 1987), with some researchers arguing that it represents a derived great ape that originated from European dryopithecines, and others arguing that it is a late survivor of the African nyanzapithecine lineage. The paleobiology and phylogeny of Oreopithecus are under investigation employing an emerging interdisciplinary research field, the Paleoproteomics (Cappellini et al., 2011, 2014; Buckley, 2018). The latter is based on the analysis of ancient protein sequences preserved within fossil tissues using Mass Spectrometry. As proteins survive longer than DNA, Paleoproteomics can investigate specimens and taxa much deeper into the geologic time (Cappellini et al., 2014), and the method has been recently successfully utilized to typify fossil mammals towards the temporal limit of about 2My (Cappellini et al., 2019). Within the international ETN project PUSHH, the Florence University unit is contributing to setting up methodologies and techniques in order to refine the potential of this new approach toward the methodological threshold of 10My. The hopefully successful approach of this international collaborative multidisciplinary project will allow us to retrieve a paleoproteomic signature from Oreopithecus (and associated fauna) fossils, thus helping us in clarifying the phylogenetic position of O. bambolii and its relations with the European Dryopithecinae.

09:30 - 09:45

An overview of the African fossil record of Hystrix makapanensis (Mammalia, Rodentia)

3Bee

The rodent family Hystricidae includes three extant genera (Atherurus, Trichys and Hystrix) and eleven species, ranging from Asia to Africa, and to Italy. This family probably originated in Asia and dispersed in Europe and Africa from the middle-late Miocene. Several fossil species are reported from the middle Miocene to the early Holocene. Five species of the subfamily Hystricinae occurred in Africa in the late Pliocene and Pleistocene: the extinct Hystrix leakeyi, Hystrix makapanensis, and Xenohystrix crassidens and the still living Hystrix africaeaustralis and Hystrix cristata. Among them, H. leakeyi from the late Pliocene of Laetoli (Tanzania) is the smallest species, followed by the similar-sized H. africaeaustralis (reported at least since the late Pliocene of south-eastern Africa) and H. cristata (also reported since the late Pliocene of northern Africa and sub-Saharan Africa). The medium-sized H. makapanensis occurred in the latest Pliocene–Early Pleistocene in a wide geographical area ranging from East to South Africa. The “giant porcupine” X. crassidens had a distribution almost overlapping that of H. makapanensis, but occurred earlier (late Miocene–Pliocene). Although the overall morphology of the cheek teeth of these species is highly conservative (as in all porcupines), they exhibit a number of diagnostic characters which are useful for taxonomic purposes. For instance, X. crassidens can be distinguished from Hystrix for its relatively brachyodont cheek teeth with very “simple” occlusal pattern. Moreover, H. makapanensis differs from other Hystrix species in the robustness of the mandible and in the morphology of the lower fourth premolar: massive and squared with well-developed hypostriid and posterior mesostriid (that crosses the entire crown height). In this work, we describe a new porcupine mandible from the world-renowned paleontological and archaeological site of Olduvai Gorge (northern Tanzania). The specimen was collected in September 2015 by the THOR (Tanzanian Human Origins Research) team near Bed II surface (~1.8 Ma) at HWK West archaeological site (Geolocality 44). The morphological and biometric analysis of the specimen allows referral to H. makapanensis. The discovery of the new mandible triggered a comprehensive review of the entire hypodigm of H. makapanensis. In particular, we analyse all the South African (Makapansgat, Gondolin, Kromdraai, Swartkrans and Sterkfontein), Tanzanian (Olduvai and Laetoli), Ethiopian (Omo) and Kenyan (Koobi Fora) remains confidently referable to this species, and we propose an emended diagnosis that will serve as the basis for future systematic studies on African porcupines.

09:45 - 10:00

Systematic Taxonomy of middle Miocene Sphaeroidinellopsis (planktonic foraminifera)

3Bee

The taxonomy and phylogeny of the Miocene to Recent genera Sphaeroidinellopsis Sphaeroidinella has been documented in previous studies, but the evolution of this lineage remain unclear. Some authors have debated on this genus in the past, choosing a variety of parameters to discriminate the morphospecies. Here we present new scanning electron microscope analyses on specimens from the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 925 (Ceara Rise, western equatorial Atlantic) and ODP Site 959 (Deep Ivorian Basin, eastern equatorial Atlantic). Our study reveals transitional individuals Sphaeroidinellopsis disjuncta – Sphaeroidinellopsis kochi, a speciation event never described in the previous literature. Those specimens are characterised by extreme morphological features such as elongated and sack like final chambers, requiring amendments to the current classification and taxonomy of this genus. In this paper, two possible hypotheses are presented and discussed, to assess these new observations within the evolutionary mosaic of Sphaeroidinellopsis.

10:00 - 10:15

An overview of the Miocene amphibians and reptiles from the Vallès-Penedès Basin (Catalonia, Iberian Peninsula)

3Bee

"First reports of fossil amphibians and reptiles from the Vallès-Penedès Basin (VPB) in Catalonia date back to the early-mid 20th Century pioneering works of scholars such as Bergounioux, Bataller, Crusafont, Villalta, and Hoffstetter. Since then, new material from new excavations was added to the record, and now more than one hundred sites within the basin have yielded palaeoherpetological remains. This includes sites that span in age from the early (MN3) to the late Miocene (MN12). The large amount of remains and the well-dated, chronostratigraphic framework in a well-delimited area triggered a renewed interest on the palaeoherpetological assemblages from the VPB in the last two decades, with a series of articles published by researchers linked to the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont. We present an overview of the amphibians and reptiles from the VPB, including both published and unpublished material. This overview will act as a benchmark and starting point for future studies focused on specific groups and/or specimens, highlighting knowledge gaps or promising research topics. Amphibians from the VPB include urodeles and anurans. The former are represented only by two salamandrids, whereas the latter are more diverse, with discoglossine alytids, bufonids, pelobatids, and ranids. A larger number of reptile taxa were identified, belonging to chelonians, crocodylians, and squamates. Chelonians include members of the Geoemydidae, Testudinidae, and Trionychidae. Diplocynodon is the only crocodylian genus recovered up to now. Among squamates, we report the presence of gekkotan, lacertid, scincid, anguid, and varanid lizards. Amphisbaenians are represented only by blanids. Snakes include scolecophidians, erycine boids, “colubrines”, elapids, and viperids. Most of the remains from the VPB could be identified only at higher taxonomic ranks based on the current knowledge, even though further investigation will likely be of help in refining the identification of at least some of the groups. Nevertheless, specific identification was possible for a few taxa, including species with a wide distribution in Europe (Latonia seyfriedi, Varanus marathonensis) and others currently known only from the VPB (i.e., Testudo catalaunica, Blanus mendezi). Further new taxa are currently under study. Some of the specimens referred to these species, as well as some of those still being investigated, are particularly well preserved, thus offering significant opportunities to study their phylogenetic relationships and the evolution of their respective clades in the Neogene. Thus, the palaeoherpetological record of the VPB is a very important resource towards a better understanding of the Cenozoic evolutionary history of amphibians and reptiles not only at a local scale, but also for Europe and the Mediterranean region as a whole.

10:15 - 10:30

Upper Permian brachiopods from the Abadeh section, Central Iran

3Bee

The Abadeh section, Central Iran, is one of the most important Permian-Triassic section because it consists of a continuous marine succession spanning the Late Permian to Early Triassic time interval. The succession comprises the Surmaq Fm., the Abadeh, Fm., the Hambast Fm. and the Elikah Fm., the latter recording the Permian-Triassic boundary at its base. Although extensively studied, the position of the Permian-Triassic Boundary is still highly debated (e.g. Horacek et al. 2021) and the issue is complicated by the laterally discontinuous microbialites at the boundary transition (Taraz et al., 1981) and by problems in conodont taxonomy. The brachiopods here presented were collected by an Italian-Chinese-Iranian research team in Central Iran, along two sections, about 100-m far apart. The collected material consists of 559 specimens, of which 427 have been described as brachiopods, while the remaining specimens are solitary corals, crinoids, bryozoans, various mollusk fragments and an hybodontoid tooth assigned to the genus Acrodus. Among the brachiopods, 13 genera and 29 species have been identified in the Wuchiapingian part of the Hambast Fm. The taxa described in this study are: Spinomarginifera helica, S. iranica, S. pygmaea, S. spinosocostata, S. sp. ind., Araxilevis intermedius, Tschernyschewia typica, Leptodus cf. L. richtofeni, L. nobilis, L. sp. ind. Permianella sp. ind., Orthotetina persica, O. sp. ind., Perigeyerella aff. P. costellata, P. aff. P. tricosa, P. sp. ind., Araxathyris abichi, A. bruntoni, A. felina, A. quadrilobata, A. sp. ind., ?Rectambitus sp. ind., Gruntallina sp. ind., ?Spirigerella sp. ind., Transcaucasathyris araxensis, T. kandevani, T. lata, T. sp. ind. and ?Permophricodothyris sp. ind. The fauna also comprises undetermined species belonging to the orders Productida and Athyridida. The stratigraphic distribution of the specimens in the two sections at Abadeh has been analyzed using the Unitary Association (UA) method, from which three main UAs were obtained and used to correlate the two sections. The base of the Hambast Fm. is well correlated between the two sections, as well as their upper part. A correlation with the Julfa section (NW Iran) has also been attempted showing that the brachiopod assemblages of Abadeh are correlatable to those of the Lower Julfa Beds and part of the Upper Julfa Beds. Also in both sections the topmost part of the Paratirolites Limestone is characterized by the occurrence of Paracrurithyris pygmaea.

10:30 - 10:45

Middle-Upper Ordovician conodonts from South Wales, United Kingdom

3Bee

"The conodont fauna of the reference succession of the regional British Llandeilian Stage of the Llanvirn Series was first described in a classical study by Rhodes (1953) more than 65 years ago using single element (form) taxonomy. Although several subsequent authors have recorded a substantial number of conodont taxa from the Llandeilo area, the present study is the first to present a modern taxonomic review of these late Darriwilian-early Sandbian faunas that include approximately 20 multielement species. Most prominent are representatives of Amorphognathus, Baltoniodus, Eoplacognathus, and Plectodina. The study faunas have their own biogeographic character. The distinctive genera Complexodus, Protopanderodus, and Pygodus, which are common in coeval Baltoscandic faunas, are not present, but the occurrence of Amorphognathus, Baltoniodus, and Eoplacognathus provides a link to age equivalent Baltoscandic faunas. The presence of abundant specimens of Plectodina and less common representatives of Erismodus and Icriodella are reminiscent of North American Midcontinent faunas. This type of faunal assemblage is in some respects similar to those of the early Caradoc Series of the Welsh Borderland. Biostratigraphically diagnostic species indicate that the Llandeilo study succession ranges from the Eoplacognathus lindstroemi Subzone of the Pygodus serra Zone to the Baltoniodus variabilis Subzone of the Amorphognathus tvaerensis Zone.

Talk session: Paleoenvironmental reconstructions

11:15 - 11:30

Palaeoclimate teleconnections encompassing a mountain range: a case study from the Holocene of the Arno and Po delta plains (northern-central Italy)

3Bee

The Mediterranean area is a vast region where climatic conditions are highly variable mainly because of orographic barriers (i.e., mountain ranges) and atmospheric circulation patterns (e.g., the North Atlantic Oscillation). In this context, the comparison between the palynological records of two delta plains of northern-central Italy can be effective in tracking the complex Holocene palaeoclimatic teleconnections in the central Mediterranean area. In this study two cored successions were analysed and compared focussing on their Holocene portions: core PA1 (Arno delta plain, Tuscany, central Italy), a ca. 18 m-long succession with a prominent 10 m-thick lagoonal interval, and core EM2 (Po delta plain, Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy), a ca. 25 m-long succession mainly consisting of a vertical alternation of swamps and crevasse splays. Backed by multi-proxy previous studies (Cacciari et al., 2019, 2020), the analysis of a total of fourteen additional samples allowed an enhanced comparison of palaeoclimate dynamics from a more holistic perspective. After a pollen-based statistical biomization of palaeovegetation (pollen-derived biomes -PDBs sensu Tarasov et al., 1998) of both areas, taxonomical comparison of PDBs, as well as variations in their relative abundances within-core and between-cores, allowed to better define the vegetation landscape and to compare palaeoclimate oscillations. A prolonged climate optimum, lasting for most of the Holocene, was identified in both areas by the spreading of an oak-alder lowland forest. Short-lived phases of climate deterioration punctuate the climate optimum. The most prominent is ascribed to the so-called 8.2-ka event, which in the Po delta lasts for a few centuries and shows highly differentiated vegetation phases, especially in their montane component, accompanied by an increase of river floods; by contrast, in the Arno delta its impact on palaeovegetation is scarce and no stratigraphic evidence is recorded. Differently, another period of climate deterioration lasting ca. 5.9-5 cal. ky BP is recorded at both locations and is testified to by an increase in montane pollen; it lead to the disruption of the swamp-crevasse alternation in the Po delta and to the complete lagoon siltation in the Arno delta. Finally, a Late Holocene vegetation degradation, mainly due to anthropisation, is recorded in both areas. To sum up, vegetational dynamics have shown many common features on the two sides of the Apennines during the Holocene. Nonetheless, the differing reactions to climate perturbations (with a degree of mediterraneity higher in the Arno- than in the Po delta plain) suggests that, during the Holocene, the present day distinction of a sub-Mediterranean climate north of the Apennines and a meso-Mediterranean climate to the south was already defined. This stresses the importance of vegetation in identifying palaeoclimate teleconnections at the regional scale.

11:30 - 11:45

Presenza di Amphistegina lessonii d’Orbigny, 1826 nel “Tirreniano” (Tarentiano, Pleistocene superiore) dell’isola di Favignana (Arcipelago delle Egadi, Sicilia).

3Bee

L’isola di Favignana conserva tracce di depositi riccamente fossiliferi del “Tirreniano”, intervallo corrispondente alla base del piano Tarentiano (Pleistocene superiore) e all’episodio di clima caldo dello Stadio isotopico MIS 5.5. Il recente studio di conchiglie fossili del gasteropode Thetystrombus latus (= Strombus bubonius) ha permesso di mappare una porzione residua di tipica “spiaggia a Strombus”, di proporre una ricostruzione paleoambientale e una valutazione del tasso di sollevamento dell’isola dal “Tirreniano” ad oggi. Lo studio stratigrafico e malacologico, integrato con l’analisi delle associazioni a foraminiferi, ha portato al ritrovamento di comuni esemplari di Amphistegina lessonii d’Orbigny nel livello sommitale di spiaggia fossile, corrispondente al picco termico dello stadio isotopico, e nel riempimento di conchiglie di T. latus. A. lessonii è un macroforaminifero a parete calcarea, tipico di scogliere coralline, di aree tropicali e subtropicali, presente in Mediterraneo nel Miocene, Pliocene e negli intervalli più caldi del Gelasiano e Calabriano. Finora la specie non risulta segnalata nel Pleistocene superiore italiano. Tuttavia la sua diffusione in associazione con ospiti senegalesi, quali T. latus, nel Tirreniano sembra ecologicamente plausibile. Infatti il genere Amphistegina è, tra i macroforaminiferi, quello con più ampia diffusione, per la sua distribuzione limitata dall’isoterma invernale di 14° C. A Favignana gli esemplari di Amphistegina sono generalmente abrasi, poco ricristallizzati e con dimensioni comprese tra 700-2000 µm. Sono accompagnati da comuni frammenti di alghe corallinacee (pralines), e da microforaminiferi (miliolidi e forme sessili). Gli autori si sono proposti di proseguire le ricerche con lo studio dei foraminiferi in altri siti a T. latus, finora studiati solo per il contenuto macropaleontologico, per verificare l’eventuale presenza del genere Amphistegina. Pertanto, sperano che il progetto, interrotto dalla pandemia, possa continuare.

11:45 - 12:00

New results on the Early Pleistocene site of Ellera di Corciano (Italy)

3Bee

The “Quasar” fossiliferous site at Ellera di Corciano (Perugia, Italy) was discovered in 2011 during an archaeological survey by the “Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio dell’Umbria”, in the building site of a mall. The site is located within the Ellera basin, a small intermontane sedimentary basin adjacent to the larger Tiberino Basin. The Quasar stratigraphic section has a thickness of more than 16 meters, and is characterized by an alternation of calcareous tufa, sandy clay and silty clay affected by advanced pedogenesis. Most of the vertebrate fossils (about 300 remains) were found within four different layers: the lowermost layer, in which a hippo partial skeleton was found, among other remains; the second layer, from which most of the collection of isolated bones come; the third layer, in which a mammoth partial skeleton was discovered; the uppermost layer, from which a second mammoth partial skeleton was retrieved. The complete faunal list includes: Anura indet., Testudinoidea indet., Mammuthus cf. meridionalis, Soricidae indet., Arvicolidae indet., Canis sp., Hyaenidae, Hippopotamus antiquus, ‘Pseudodama’ farnetensis, Praemegaceros verticornis, cf. Bison (Eobison), and Equus sp. Especially noteworthy are the remains of H. antiquus, among which a partial skeleton with nearly complete cranium stands out. This large mammal, more adapted to aquatic environments as compared with his extant relative, shows in Ellera quite advanced morphologies especially in the cranium, similar to what is observed in the specimens from the Incarcal Complex (ca. 1 Ma; NE Iberian Peninsula). Micropaleontological studies allow the recognition of two ostracod assemblages: the first dominated by the genus Cyprideis (in the lowermost and second layers), and the second by Ilyocypris and Candona (in the third layer), testifying shallow oligohaline waterbody and freshwater permanent waterbody, respectively. These results, together with sedimentological and geotechnical data, suggest the presence of two main depositional environments: a periodically flooded alluvial plain (clays, silty and sandy clays, paleosols) and a lacustrine/palustrine environment (calcareous tufa). A phytoclastic sandy layer very rich in Characeae remains at about 11 m is indicative of the presence of a still and clear freshwater body. From a biochronological point of view, probably the most interesting taxon is P. verticornis, whose first occurrence has been chosen as the bioevent marking the beginning of the Galerian Land Mammal Age (now corresponding to the beginning of the Epivillafranchian) in the Italian biochronological scheme. The occurrence of this cervid in Ellera suggests an attribution to a time span between 1.2 and at least 0.65 Ma. However, the presence of a small sized Bison-like bovid with primitive features would indicate an earlier age (Late Villafranchian, ca. 1.5–1.2 Ma) for the assemblage.

12:00 - 12:15

Palaeoenvironmental evolution of the late Middle-Late Pleistocene Marano Equo Basin (Latium, central Apennines)

3Bee

The Marano Equo area is part of the valley of Aniene, a river draining the western flank of the Apennines chain (Latium, central Italy). The bedrock is made up of the Meso-Cenozoic units of the Latium - Abruzzi carbonate platform, of the Miocene units characterized by facies transitional from the carbonate platform to the basin (Sabina domain), and of the syn-orogenic turbiditic siliciclastic deposits (upper Tortonian). In the Marano Equo area the Aniene R. valley is filled by a sedimentary succession more than 150 m thick. The sediments and the paleontological content of the cores of eight continuous boreholes have been analyzed to decipher the palaeonvironmental and palaeoclimatic changes occurred in the area. The results indicate that the sedimentary succession is referred to a braided plain where conglomerates, sands and clays speak for a varying fluvial energy and, at some levels, for the strong influence of springs. It is noteworthy that calcareous tufa and calcareous sands are present in several cores. Seven samples of these latter have been dated by the disequilibrium method in the Uranium series. Two datings gave an age >350 ka, whereas the others span from 259 +61/-43 ka to 100 ± 7 ka. These results allow to refer the sediments of the cores to at least the Middle Upper Pleistocene. Molluscs and ostracods from three sediment cores were studied. Among molluscs, the most abundant were terrestrial species, adapted to dry or humid open environments (Vallonia pulchella, Vertigo pygmaea, Vitrea contracta, Vertigo angustior, Carychium minimum and Oxyloma elegans). The few recorded freshwater species (such as Lymnaea truncatula frequently associated to Pisidium personatum, at some core levels), point to marshy grasslands or ephemeral ponds. Among ostracods, nineteen species were identified, scattered in the sediment cores, that, in a large part, inhabit preferentially different spring system habitats (nine species i.e. Eucypris pigra, Herpetocypris brevicaudata, Heterocypris reptans, Ilyocypris bradyi, Ilyocypris inermis, Paralimnocythere messanai, Potamocypris zschokkei, Psychrodromus olivaceous and Scottia pseudobrowniana) or occur commonly in springs (five species i.e. Candonopsis scourfieldi, Darwinula stevensoni, Heterocypris incongruens, Neglecandona neglecta, and Pseudocandona albicans). The results obtained by the application of multivariate analyses (Cluster Analysis and Principal Component Analysis) on the ostracod assemblages showed that the Marano Equo braided plain was partially occupied by ponds fed by groundwater, floods, and springs in which it was possible to recognize different limnocrene, helocrene and rheocrene habitats. The Mutual Ostracod Temperature Range method indicates that the spring systems and the ponds were active during cool periods, when air summer temperatures were 3-5°C cooler than present. These periods could be referred to the cool intervals of the late MIS 5, according to the calcareous tufa ages.

12:15 - 12:30

Palaeoenvironmental frame and landscape transition during the Mid-Late Pleistocene inferred from the avian fossil assemblage of Grotta del Cavallo (Apulia, Southern Italy)

3Bee

Grotta del Cavallo, a cave which opens on the Ionic Apulian coast in Southern Italy (Nardò), preserves one of the best known Italian Middle Palaeolithic sequences, providing important evidence on Neanderthal lifeways from MIS 7 to MIS 3 (Mid-Late Pleistocene). In this work, we present the results of the taxonomic and taphonomic analysis of the avian fossil remains associated with Homo neanderthalensis occupation. The taxonomic analysis detected a very rich avian fossil assemblage, consisting of 1050 specimens grouped in 70 taxa and at least 35 species, that allowed palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic reconstructions, further detailing the landscape surrounding the cave that was exploited by H. neanderthalensis throughout the last glacial-interglacial cycles. During MIS 7, 6 and 3 extensive grassland-steppes and shrublands dominated the landscape, with localised rocky outcrops and open woodlands. The abundance of water and wetland birds also suggests the presence of well-developed wetland systems near the cave, currently absent from the area. These wetlands were probably located in front of the cave, where a coastal plain, now the Apulian shelf, periodically emerged due to glacially driven sea-level drop. The further increase in water bird taxa and avian species richness in MIS 3 deposits is likely related to the expansion of wetland areas, linked to more humid conditions or to the shorter distance of the wetlands from the cave, compared to MIS 6. A few species also provided palaeoclimatic indications of climate conditions cooler than the present one, such as Branta leucopsis (Bechstein, 1803), an arctic breeder, and other species currently spread at higher altitudes. This work also recorded the first occurrence of Larus genei Breme, 1839, the first Italian occurrence of Emberiza calandra Linnaeus, 1758 the oldest Italian occurrence of Podiceps nigricollis C. L. Brehm, 1831, and the occurrence of Sylvia communis Latham, 1787 (a species rarely retrieved in the fossil record). Ordination analyses of the taphonomic data related to the bird assemblages allowed to identify physical sin- and post-depositional processes as the main drivers of fossil degradation, whereas the accumulation of the bird bones in the cave is mainly attributed to short-range physical processes of sediment accumulation and feeding activities of nocturnal raptors. We also detected anthropic traces on a few bones, related to butchering and cooking activities of bird carcasses. This attests to the consumption of birds as food by Neanderthals and represents the earliest Italian evidence of bird exploitation.

12:30 - 12:45

Bartonian coastlines along the westernmost sector of Liguria: palaeoenvironmental interpretation with insights into the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum (MECO) 

3Bee

The sedimentary succession exposed in the westernmost part of Liguria is characterized by an extensively exposed unconformity where a deep marine globotruncanid-rich mudstone (Trucco Formation) is overlain by Cenozoic nummulitid-rich sediments. The uppermost Cretaceous layers just underneath the unconformity date to the Santonian due to the presence of Dicarinella concavata, D. asymmtrica and Sigalia decoratissima. The Cenozoic sequence ranges from a nummulitid-rich wackestone - packstone (Capo Mortola Formation) to globigerinid-rich marlstone (Olivetta San Michele Formation) and finally ends with a flyschoid unit (Ventimiglia Formation) thus displaying a characteristic deepening-upward sequence. This contribution focuses on the sedimentary conditions that characterized the very first layers above the unconformity, before the first appearance of the nummulitid tests. It seems that a variety of palaeoenvironments can be recognised among the exposures in the region just underneath the first appearance of the larger foraminifera. In some cases, a relatively thick succession (almost 30 meters) is made up by a Microcodium limestone followed by mostly sterile sandstones, whereas in other exposures a conglomeratic series is intercalated with well-sorted calcarenites/quartzarenites. In some places the large nummulitids are directly in contact with the Cretaceous substrate, with bioturbations mixing and reworking the material close to the unconformity. In one location only, a thick Solenomeris limestone is recorded. This variety of sedimentary conditions is reflected in significant differences in ichnofossil associations. Bioerosional ichnofossils mark the basal unconformity and indicate the colonization of a rocky shore during the earliest transgressive event. The overlying bioturbational ichnoassociations clearly indicate the establishment of softground seafloors. Such differences point to a rather complex coastline system, on one hand with rocky shores (where bioerosion occurred and nummulitid tests rest directly on the unconformity), high-energy shoreface conditions (with conglomerates, arenites and the iconic trace fossil Nummipera), or reefal settings with Solenomeris-dominated beds. On the other end there were low-energy fluvial to lagoon environments with mostly sterile beds and sporadically a Microcodium facies. The transgressive sequence records in its middle part, just below the boundary to the Olivetta San Michele Formation, the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum (MECO). It has been recognized biostratigraphically by planktonic markers (both foraminifera and calcareous nannoplankton). The influence of this event on the benthic fauna (mostly characterized by abundant Nummulites perforatus) has shown similar response in all investigated section thus indicating quite stable and homogeneous environmental condition throughout the region fully established since the lower Bartonian.

Talk session: Biomineralization and microstructure

14:00 - 14:15

Mineralization processes of organic matter in microbial communities: role of bacteria, extracellular polymeric substance and viruses

3Bee

The nanostructure and composition of two modern lithifying microbial communities were studied and compared, with the aim to understand the processes of mineralization of the organic matter. One consists of a thick, stromatolite forming, microbial mat from a marine hypersaline sabkha environment, and one consists of a microbial biofilm in a fluvial tufa-forming freshwater setting. Despite the very different environmental conditions and the diverse species of microorganisms present, the mechanisms of mineralization of the organic substrates and the mineral products show many similarities. A variety of microorganisms dominated by cyanobacteria, heterotrophic bacteria and viruses (bacteriophages) compose both the communities; microbial-produced vesicles are also present. Extracellular polymer substance (EPS) produced by most of the bacterial forms, is widespread. The EPS is the unique place where the mineralization takes place, as inside this organic structure bacterial cell walls, viruses, and vesicles can be initial sites of mineral nucleation and successively completely replaced by the mineral. EPS itself can also mineralize, as mineral nanocrystals develop randomly within the polymers replacing their filamentous structure. In both microbial consortiums, the mineralization of the organic substrates starts with the accumulation in the bacterial EPS, of an amorphous mineral mix of Ca, Si, Al, S and Mg with various proportions, that could have played a fundamental role in the subsequent formation of two types of proto-crystals less than 10 nm in size: nanoparticles (irregular to sub-spherical) and nanofibers (elongated), respectively Ca and Si-Al-Mg rich. The growth of proto-crystals carries to the formation of two mineral species: Ca-carbonate and Mg-silicate crystals with different habitus. The Ca-carbonate continues its growth forming most of the deposit, whereas the silicate, probably for the much less availability of Si and Al ions, the remain. The presence of several bacterial forms implies several metabolic processes acting within the microbial communities; among these heterotrophic bacteria (mainly sulphate and nitrate reducing) are probably the main responsible for the mediation of mineral formation thanks to their degradation activity of the EPS. In fact, the highly hydrated nature of much EPS represents an environment where ions can accumulate to reach higher concentrations. The successive microbial degradation of EPS increases the alkalinity and reduces the quantity of cation binding sites, releasing the cations that can be attracted by negatively charged substrates such as virus, vesicles, bacterial walls, and EPS itself, that act as nucleation sites for initiating the mineralization process.

14:15 - 14:30

Ultrastructure, composition, and 87Sr/86Sr dating of shark teeth from early Miocene sediments of southwestern Peru

3Bee

As other marine minerals, phosphates - and in particular bioapatite - incorporate Sr from seawater during formation (Staudigel et al., 1985). Due to long-term variations in the relative abundance of Sr isotopes in the global ocean, 87Sr/86Sr values can be measured in minerals and compared to calibration curves for obtaining age estimates via Strontium Isotope Stratigraphy (SIS) (McArthur et al., 2020). Although hydroxyapatite is susceptible to alteration and Sr concentration in fish teeth can change during burial and diagenesis (Martin & Scher, 2004), fossil shark teeth have been successfully used for Sr-dating, especially when enameloid is analyzed (Schmitz et al., 1997; Harrell et al., 2016). In order to test the feasibility of this method in the fish tooth-rich marine sediments of the East Pisco Basin (Peru), and aiming to date some poorly-constrained strata of this region, we analyzed the ultrastructure and composition of fossil shark teeth from the Chilcatay Formation. This Miocene formation consists of massive sandstones and basement boulders overlain by bioclastic sandstones and diatomaceous and tuffaceous siltstones (Di Celma et al., 2019). It is characterized by an abundant marine vertebrate assemblage, among which elasmobranchs are present (Landini et al., 2019). Teeth of Isurus sp., Cosmopolitodus hastalis, Isurus oxyrinchus, Megalolamna paradoxodon and Physogaleus contortus were collected from Chilcatay beds at the localities of Zamaca, Media Luna and near Cerro Colorado. Teeth were investigated through an optical microscopy and SEM. After taphonomic observations, 11 teeth underwent ICP-OES and 87Sr/86Sr analyses. Shark teeth show a compact and non-porous outer enameloid layer that is distinctly separated from the more porous and heterogeneous inner core of dentine. Ultrastructure analysis shows that the enameloid is formed by highly-ordered bundles of fluoroapatite crystallites, which are often well-preserved, whereas the dentine displays a bone-like structure showing tubuli and crystalline artefacts from diagenesis (Lübke et al., 2015). SEM-EDS mapping shows differences in distribution of Ca, P, F, and S in the enameloid and dentine, and the shiny layer is compositionally recognizable (Enax et al., 2014). ICP-OES data show Sr contents that are comparable to those of recent lamniform teeth. 87Sr/86Sr results compared to the LOESS 6 calibrated on GTS2020 (McArthur et al., 2020) give ages between 19 and 18 Ma for the Chilcatay strata at the Ica Valley localities, in agreement with radioisotopic and biostratigraphic ages (Bosio et al., 2020). At Media Luna, a locality 25 km to the west of the Rio Ica, the Chilcatay strata have here been dated for the first time, resulting in a slightly older age ranging between 22 and 20 Ma. Not least, these results strengthen the notion that the Sr-ratio of shark teeth can be successfully used for obtaining reliable age estimates through SIS.

14:30 - 14:45

Tube structure and taphonomic features of fossil cirratulids from the East Pisco Basin (Southern Peru)

3Bee

Among the tube-dwelling polychaete worms in the family Cirratulidae, some species produce calcareous tubes preservable as fossils. Recent calcareous cirratulids are distributed in temperate and tropical environments, where they aggregate to form small reefs in shallow waters with normal salinity. Fossil records of cirratulid aggregates are however rare. Here we analyse the tube structure and taphonomic features of the cirratulid Diplochaetetes mexicanus (Wilson, 1986), reported from the Miocene of Peru, in the East Pisco Basin. There, the species forms dm-sized tube aggregates with pillow-, mushroom-, dome-like and tabular growth morphologies. Aggregates are formed by subparallel tubes adhering to each other. Tubes do not increase in diameter during growth and have a circular lumen with an average width of 1.3 mm. Walls are ca. 0.2 mm thick and shared by adjacent tubes. Transverse, concave upwards, double-layered septa occur inside some tubes. Optical and electron microscopy (SEM) analyses, coupled with epifluorescence observations, allow for detecting the tube biomineralization style. The walls are formed by a double skeletal structure: 1) an outer part, made of very thin irregular micro-laminae; and 2) an inner part, made of sedimentary grains cemented by biomicrite (Fig. 1). The irregular thickness of the wall and the local undulations of its external and internal surfaces, are caused by the size and shapes of the agglutinated grains. Both laminae and biomicrites show high fluorescence, reflecting their bio-mediated origin. The tubes exhibit different degrees of preservation. They vary from exquisitely preserved specimens, showing remain of the prismatic-like ultrastructure of the external laminae and micrite-size crystals (finer than 4 microns) of the agglutinating biocement, to deeply diagenized specimens, showing rhomboedric dolomite crystals, growing on the original laminae and biomicrite. The present work aims at depicting the microstructure of the D. mexicanus and providing comparisons with the results obtained in previous studies.

14:45 - 15:00

Le ultrastrutture della parete cellulare in Lithothamnion corallioides: un segnale del controllo biologico della mineralizzazione?

3Bee

Le alghe calcaree sono importanti organismi calcificanti biocostruttori di fondi mobili (rodoliti) e duri diffuse in tutto il Cenozoico. Tra le rodoliti, il morfotipo a rami liberi (maerl) è presente sia in Atlantico che in Mediterraneo. Lithothamnion corallioides è una delle specie più abbondanti e diffuse nel maerl, tra 28°N e 58°N (Irvine and Chamberlain, 1994). Essa forma strutture ramificate, di colore da marrone a viola, spesso sterili, con diametro dei rami compreso tra 1-2 mm, e con apice a forma di pomello (Irvine and Chamberlain, 1994). In sezione longitudinale, i rami di L. corallioides mostrano un’alternanza di bande più chiare, legate allo sviluppo di cellule più allungate, e bande più scure, caratterizzate da cellule più tozze. Il banding è stato interpretato come la risposta della crescita variabile stagionale (Halfar et al., 2000), ma anche come l’alternanza tra cellule con ultrastrutture mineralizzate della parete differenti (Nash et al. 2019). Le pareti cellulari mostrano solitamente uno strato esterno con calcite aciculare tangenziale al plasmalemma, e uno più interno con calcite aciculare radiale (Giraud and Cabioch, 1976). La forma dei cristalli è stata interpretata come espressione fenotipica del genotipo, con risultati incoraggianti a livello di famiglia (Auer and Piller, 2020). Per valutare se le ultrastrutture subiscono modificazioni morfologiche nei diversi ambienti di vita della specie e a tassi di crescita diversi, sono stati studiati sei campioni di L. corallioides provenienti dall’Oceano Atlantico e dal Mar Mediterraneo da profondità variabili (12-66 m). A livello macroscopico, i campioni sono tutti morfotipi a ramo di colore bianco-rosa-lilla, lunghezza massima di 3 cm e diametro inferiore a 2,5 mm. Il campione di Morlaix (Francia, 12 m), dove studi genetici sulla biodiversità algale hanno escluso altre specie dello stesso genere (Carro et al. 2014), è stato identificato come L. corallioides. Su questo campione sono stati definiti gli elementi ultrastrutturali della parete cellulare, caratterizzata da un doppio strato: la parete primaria, più esterna, con cristalli di forma rettangolare molto allungati e appiattiti, simili ad aciculi tangenziali in sezione longitudinale; la parete secondaria, più interna, costituita da cristalli con forma di mattoncini tozzi e dai bordi arrotondati, solo apparentemente allungati e radiali al plasmalemma in sezione longitudinale. Sia il peritallo che l’epitallo mostra cellule con calcificazione primaria e secondaria con le stesse caratteristiche morfologiche. Il confronto degli altri campioni con questo, basandosi anche sulle ultrastrutture, ha permesso di identificarli come L. coralllioides. Sebbene siano vissuti in ambienti molto diversi e abbiamo un tasso di crescita differente (Piazza et al., under review), le ultrastrutture della parete non subiscono deformazioni, il che permette di sostenere che il processo di mineralizzazione nelle coralline sia biologicamente controllato.

15:00 - 15:15

Bioapatite diagenesis and fossilization

3Bee

Bioapatite has triggered the evolution of living organisms for over five hundred million years. In utilizing calcium phosphate minerals, animals learnt how to construct new body architectures with a rigid skeletal frame, to shelter soft body parts from predation within a shell, to defend themselves from attack with menacing weapons, and to process food with teeth. By the use of efficient structural designs that optimized mechanical properties through a combination of evolutionary processes and functional adaptations, bioapatite has enabled vertebrates to acquire large body sizes in the sea, on land and in the air. Despite such a remarkable biological success, the crystallography of bioapatite and the eventual modification of lattice parameters over a wide range of geologic time have in contrast been scarcely investigated. In our study we analyzed living, dead and fossil remains of apatite biomineralizing organisms, both vertebrates and invertebrates, ranging from the Cambrian to the Recent, a time-lapse spanning over 500 million years. We detected the bioapatite crystal features of the major phosphatic phyla (Brachiopoda, Arthropoda, Bryozoa, and Chordata: the latter including conodonts, cartilaginous and bony fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals). Groups were investigated using either fossil or recent material (dead and alive, the latter referring to material extracted from living organisms). Our data reveals that living and dead organisms, and their fossil remains, have a distinct geometric signature in terms of bioapatite lattice cell parameters mirroring atom re-arrangements within the crystal lattice which drive to a general reduction of the cell volume (i.e., the volume of the hexagonal crystalline cell frame) over time. These changes initiate at the death of the organism, and attain overall stability only in the ultimate stages of fossilization.

Talk session: Paleontological heritage

16:35 - 16:50

Geo-paleontological heritage and regional planning as drivers of territorial challenges

3Bee

This work promotes and exploits the relation between geo-paleontological heritage and regional planning, highlighting that the knowledge of this heritage can act as a driver for the promotion of sustainable tourism and for the development of Italian marginal territories. Fossils are a key tool for understanding the evolution of our planet, but that still fails to obtain adequate attention. Numerous researches of previous decades have focused on the relevance of the geo-paleontological heritage. In 2000, the European Geopark Network (EGN) was founded underlining that the role of geological heritage can be significant to provide an economically sustainable future for the territory as a whole. In this regard, the responsibility to share and to safeguard this heritage must be a cultural target. Nevertheless, also the scientific literature struggles to affirm new approaches based on a holistic vision to consider the revitalization processes as the integration of the territorial system. In this lack, the social, economic, and scientific dimensions of Earth Sciences are poorly appreciated outside protected areas. According to that, the principal goal of this study consists of individuating planning actions and responsibility levels that must be involved in a global design aimed at promoting these territorial areas and making them accessible to a wider range of users, both local (residents, students, administration, stakeholders) as well as external (tourists). To this end, integrated actions for the usability of these sites have to be activated at different levels: theoretical, policies, and promotional level. This study, basing on the conviction that the promotion of an integrated and shared knowledge allow to activate a real transition from a passive to an active use of these fragile and yet notable sites, set up the project of new use dealing with the startup of activities with experiential connotations, able to propose the story-telling of the formation of the site through the use of scientific videos and augmented and mixed reality. These activities are expected to encourage forms of sustainable and slow tourism by promoting historical routes and local economies. The interaction between geo-paleontological knowledge with territorial planning parameters contributes to the definition of innovative approaches to the use of paleontological heritage. In this vision the territorial context as a whole plays an active role contributing to the definition of strategies for development and it allows to transform the geo-paleontological site from an “island” into a “local magnet”, able of attracting external attention, activating positive effects on local economies, on the diffusion of scientific knowledge of specific cultural places, on the definition of integrated regional planning processes.

16:50 - 17:05

Re-restauring bones: a new look at the Pleistocene large mammals stored at MUST Sapienza, University of Rome

3Bee

Since 2017 the MUST (University Museum of Earth Sciences of Sapienza) is the new museum of the Department of Earth Sciences of Sapienza University of Rome, part of the museal system (Polo museale) of the university. MUST represents the unification of the existing and independent departmental museums of Geology, Mineralogy and Paleontology. The vertebrate paleontological collection currently hosts thousands of specimens, including many Quaternary mammals from central Italy and the Mediterranean Islands, in exhibition since the beginning of ‘70s. During the renewal of the Vertebrate Paleontology hall, the restoration of nearly complete crania and skeletons of Rhinocerotidae, Hippopotamidae, Bovidae and Cervidae is started. This project has a twofold meaning: the preservation of this material from a museal viewpoint and the preparation for new paleontological research. In particular, all previously applied materials (gypsum, glue, resin, paint) were removed, exposing the bone tissue. This allowed to observe original features of these fossils and to acquire reliable biometric and morphological data. Finally, new consolidating was applied and new supports were realized in order to better preserve this paleontological heritage. During the reorganization of the Vertebrate Paleontology hall, new technologies are also applied and, especially, 3D models of most significative specimens are realized using CT-scans and photogrammetry. This represents a first step towards the digitization of the Museum and the realization of a virtual catalogue of the Vertebrate fossils stored at MUST.

17:05 - 17:20

La paleontologia e la divulgazione nel XXI secolo: la Caverna Generosa e il progetto di Realtà Aumentata

3Bee

Il turismo:
Fin dal 1999, e quasi continuativamente per oltre venti anni, la Caverna Generosa, durante i mesi estivi, è stata aperta al pubblico con visite guidate. Il sostegno economico e il supporto logistico della Ferrovia Montegeneroso SA, del Comune di San Fedele Intelvi (oggi Centrovalle Intelvi) e la Comunità Montana Lario-Intelvese hanno favorito il proseguimento ed il successo di questa attività per tutti questi anni. Oggi, nell’ambito di un progetto finanziato da INTERREG VA “SCOPRI” (al quale hanno partecipato per la parte svizzera il SUPSI e Mendrisiotto Turismo e per la parte italiana, oltre ad UniMI, il comune di Centrovalle Intelvi e la Comunità Montana Lario-Intelvese), la Caverna Generosa si rinnova e diventa più sicura, affascinante e “tecnologica”. Oltre a diverse opere che permettono un agevole accesso alla grotta (tra cui un nuovo e sosficato impianto di illuminazione), cambia anche il modo di divulgare la scienza: oltre alla visita guidata di tipo tradizionale sono stati predisposti per i visitatori degli occhialini a Realtà Aumentata che permetteranno una visita immersiva tra orsi, uomini di Neandertal ed altri contenuti mediatici molto suggestivi. Questo permetterà di rendere l’esperienza della visita ancora più spettacolare (a partire dalla prossima estate), mantenendo tuttavia un alto livello di comunicazione scientifica.
La grotta:
La Caverna Generosa (LO CO 2694) sia apre sul versante orientale del Monte Generoso, in provincia di Como a pochi passi dal confine con la Svizzera. La Caverna Generosa è costituita da un cunicolo iniziale, lungo circa 25 metri, per mezzo del quale si accede ad una prima sala (denominata “Saletta”) dalla quale, attraverso un sifone, si passa in una sala più ampia (denominata “Sala Terminale”). Gli scavi:
Il primo studio paleontologico è del 1989, ad opera del prof. Fusco di Unimi su materiale proveniente dalla superficie della “Sala Terminale. Nel 1991 il prof. Tintori (UniMi) svolge la prima campagna di scavo in “Sala Terminale”, seguita da altre tre campagne (1993, 1994 e 1996). Un importante svolta è avvenuta nel 1998 quando è stato realizzato lo scavo dei primi 40 metri di cunicolo per ampliare il passaggio ai fini dell’organizzazione di visite turistiche. L’ampliamento del cunicolo ha permesso un facile accesso alla grotta favorendone la continuità di intervento, anche scientifico, che dura ancora oggi.
Gli studi:
Gli scavi hanno permesso il recupero di migliaia di resti fossili databili ad un intervallo cronologico che copre buona parte del Pleistocene Superiore ed Olocene, definendone i cambiamenti paleoambientali e paleoclimatici. I fossili consistono, per lo più, di resti di macro e micromammiferi, dove l’orso delle caverne (Ursus spelaeus) è dominante. Molto importante è stato il rinvenimento di 9 schegge di selce musteriane opera dell’uomo di Neandertal (Homo neanderthalensis) che testimoniano la frequentazione dell’area anche da parte di questa specie estinta di ominini.

17:20 - 17:35

From Ammonite to Ammonia: an exhibition to celebrate the unique micropaleontological legacy of the Giovanni Capellini Geological Museum (University of Bologna, Italy)

3Bee

The Giovanni Capellini Museum houses one of the most important fossil collections in Europe in a substantially unaltered layout of late 19th Century. This exhibition allows visitors a journey into the history of foraminiferal micropaleontology, from the discovery of the first microfossils, in the early 18th Century, to the first half of the 20th Century, when micropaleontology reached a leading role in Earth Sciences. The itinerary of the exhibition is organized in six showcases. The first one documents the birth of micropaleontology through the original materials of Jacopo Bartolomeo Beccari. As reported in a manuscript (1711) and in a published paper (1731), Beccari described and interpreted for the first time a foraminiferal assemblage collected from Pleistocene strata south of Bologna. In this showcase some Beccari’s Ammonia are exposed next to the volume of Plancus (1739) with the illustration of specimens later used by Linnaeus for establishing his Nautilus beccarii (1758). It also hosts an ancient microscope attributed to Giuseppe Campani (1635-1715) and traditionally regarded as the Beccari’s microscope. The second showcase is devoted to Alcide d'Orbigny and shows a collection of his foraminiferal models (2nd edition, 1842), the plates of the ""Tableau méthodique de la classe des Céphalopodes” (1826), and a manuscript version of this volume, the “Tableau Berthelin-Fornasini”. In this volume, Georges Berthelin traced foraminiferal sketches from d’Orbigny's unpublished plates. Berthelin then bequeathed this unique volume to Carlo Fornasini, who described and published many d'Orbigny species by these sketches. The third showcase includes part of the foraminiferal collection of Carlo Fornasini, the leading Italian micropaleontologist of the late 19th Century. This collection consists of hundreds of glass tubes and high-quality micropaleontological slides – ""the red slides of Fornasini"". The fourth showcase is devoted to the foraminiferal iconography during the 18th and 19th Centuries, with the exhibition of Soldani’s (1780) and Brady’s (1884) masterpieces. An original slide by Brady is shown for a comparison between the foraminifera specimens preserved there and the illustration of the same species in one of Brady’s famous plates. The fifth showcase includes the nummulites of the “Hantken Collection”, consisting of more than 100 species, carefully arranged within beautiful green slides, donated to the Museum in 1881. The last showcase is dedicated to the micropaleontology of the first half of the 20th Century, focusing on the relationships between industry and academy. A selection of research and educational materials is exposed, such as a set of foraminiferal models by Brooks Ellis (1950). Hundreds of foraminiferal specimens, models and volumes of great historical and scientific value are still preserved in Museum’s repository, such as for instance, the 19th Century foraminiferal slides by Brady, Goës, Karrer, Millett and Sherborn, or the more recent ones by Bermudez, Bolli, Heron-Allen, Jenkins, Kennett, Parker, and others.

17:35 - 17:50

Geothematic map and ichnological study of the Altamura dinosaur tracksite (early Campanian; Apulia, southern Italy)

3Bee

The Giovanni Capellini Museum houses one of the most important fossil collections in Europe in a substantially unaltered layout of late 19th Century. This exhibition allows visitors a journey into the history of foraminiferal micropaleontology, from the discovery of the first microfossils, in the early 18th Century, to the first half of the 20th Century, when micropaleontology reached a leading role in Earth Sciences. The itinerary of the exhibition is organized in six showcases. The first one documents the birth of micropaleontology through the original materials of Jacopo Bartolomeo Beccari. As reported in a manuscript (1711) and in a published paper (1731), Beccari described and interpreted for the first time a foraminiferal assemblage collected from Pleistocene strata south of Bologna. In this showcase some Beccari’s Ammonia are exposed next to the volume of Plancus (1739) with the illustration of specimens later used by Linnaeus for establishing his Nautilus beccarii (1758). It also hosts an ancient microscope attributed to Giuseppe Campani (1635-1715) and traditionally regarded as the Beccari’s microscope. The second showcase is devoted to Alcide d'Orbigny and shows a collection of his foraminiferal models (2nd edition, 1842), the plates of the ""Tableau méthodique de la classe des Céphalopodes” (1826), and a manuscript version of this volume, the “Tableau Berthelin-Fornasini”. In this volume, Georges Berthelin traced foraminiferal sketches from d’Orbigny's unpublished plates. Berthelin then bequeathed this unique volume to Carlo Fornasini, who described and published many d'Orbigny species by these sketches. The third showcase includes part of the foraminiferal collection of Carlo Fornasini, the leading Italian micropaleontologist of the late 19th Century. This collection consists of hundreds of glass tubes and high-quality micropaleontological slides – ""the red slides of Fornasini"". The fourth showcase is devoted to the foraminiferal iconography during the 18th and 19th Centuries, with the exhibition of Soldani’s (1780) and Brady’s (1884) masterpieces. An original slide by Brady is shown for a comparison between the foraminifera specimens preserved there and the illustration of the same species in one of Brady’s famous plates. The fifth showcase includes the nummulites of the “Hantken Collection”, consisting of more than 100 species, carefully arranged within beautiful green slides, donated to the Museum in 1881. The last showcase is dedicated to the micropaleontology of the first half of the 20th Century, focusing on the relationships between industry and academy. A selection of research and educational materials is exposed, such as a set of foraminiferal models by Brooks Ellis (1950). Hundreds of foraminiferal specimens, models and volumes of great historical and scientific value are still preserved in Museum’s repository, such as for instance, the 19th Century foraminiferal slides by Brady, Goës, Karrer, Millett and Sherborn, or the more recent ones by Bermudez, Bolli, Heron-Allen, Jenkins, Kennett, Parker, and others.

Talk session: Palebiogeography

17:50 - 18:05

Rhinocerotidae from the lower Miocene of the Negev (Israel) and implications for the dispersal of early Neogene rhinoceroses

3Bee

A revision of the rhinocerotid material from the Negev (Israel), dating back to the early Miocene (MN3 in the European Mammal Biochronology), highlights the presence of Brachypotherium and a taxon close to Gaindatherium in the Levantine Corridor. A juvenile mandible, investigated using CT, displays morphologically distinct characters consistent with B. cf. snowi rather than other Asian and European representatives of this genus. Some postcranial remains from the Negev, such as a humerus, display features that discriminate among Miocene taxa. We attribute these postcrania to cf. Gaindatherium, a taxon never recorded outside the Siwaliks until now. These taxa dispersed into the Levantine region during the late early Miocene following a pattern similar to other South Asian taxa. Brachypotherium cf. snowi probably dispersed via the Levantine region into Africa during the early Miocene, as its remains are known from slightly younger localities such as Moghara (Egypt) and Jebel Zelten (Libya). Cf. Gaindatherium represents a previously unrecorded range expansion out of Southeast Asia. These new records demonstrate the paleogeographic importance of the Levantine region and showcase the complex role of the Levantine corridor in intercontinental dispersals between Asia and Europe as well as Eurasia and Africa.

18:05 - 18:20

First record of the chitinophosphatic brachiopod Glottidia from the Mediterranean Basin, with some notes on the Neogene palaeobiogeography of lingulides

3Bee

New remains of lingulide brachiopods have been discovered in Pliocene outcrops of Tuscany (central Italy). Some relatively well preserved specimens are here reported from Castelfiorentino and Spicchio (both in Florence Province). At both localities, the exposed marine successions are characterised by alternation of greyish clayey sandstones and yellowish sandstones. The Spicchio lingulides have been found within grayish clayey sandstone besides abundant specimens of Pelecyora, Callista, Procardium and Thetystrombus (=Persististrombus). The Castelfiorentino lingulides come from a yellowish sand division that is typically rich in very well preserved crabs (Eriphia cocchii) and common shells of Glycymeris, Pelecyora, gastropods and barnacles. The septate nature of these new lingulide finds suggests to attribute the collected material to Glottidia rather than to >i>Lingula. The presence of Glottidia-like specimens in the Tuscan Pliocene represents an entirely new occurrence datum for Italy as well as for the entire Mediterranean region. These lingulide fossils sum themselves to other recently described finds of Lingula from the nearby locality of La Serra (Pisa Province). Whereas Lingula is present in some Miocene brachiopod assemblages of the Mediterranean Sea and the connected Central Paratethys, the sole published records of the currently trans-Panamian genus Glottidia are from the Miocene and Pliocene deposits of the North Sea. Therefore, discovering that both Lingula and Glottidia occurred in closely locations of the central Mediterranean Basin during the Pliocene comes as a surprise that also stimulates to reconsider the palaeobiogeographic history and affinities of the late Neogene Euro-Mediterranean lingulides.

18:20 - 18:30

Final Remarks

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Assemblea

10:00 - 12:00

Assemblea Annuale della Società Paleontologica (Il link di partecipazione sarà inviato alla mailing list soci SPI)

In fase di definizione

12:00 - 12:45

Assemblea straordinaria modifiche Statuto SPI (Il link di partecipazione sarà inviato alla mailing list soci SPI)

3Bee

Expo Area



I docenti del PALEODAYS2021


In fase di definizione

In fase di definizione

Zendesk

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Jarvis

Jarvis

 



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