Late Pleistocene Mediterranean lynx remains from Avenc del Marge del Moro (NE Iberian Peninsula)

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During 2011, an international team of scientists successfully obtained for the first-time paleoDNA data from different samples of Lynx remains from the Iberian Peninsula. These results showed that these remains belonged to the species Lynx pardinus, which is, at present, one of the most critically endangered felids. One of the remains sampled in the aforementioned study comes from a small chasm called Avenc del Marge del Moro in the Garraf Massif, with an estimated absolute chronology of 21 ka. Further morphological studies reinforced the last evidence, corroborating the presence of Lynx pardinus from the Early to Late Pleistocene in Southern Europe. Here, we provide for the first time a detailed description of the lynx remains from Avenc del Marge del Moro, which consist of a remarkably complete fossil cranium, as well as several dentognathic and postcranial remains. In the light of the evidence reported the last 10 years for fossil L. pardinus and its past distribution throughout southern France and the Iberian and Italian Peninsulas, we further suggest a formal change of the vernacular name of this species to ‘Mediterranean lynx’. This also provides novel insight for future reintroduction opportunities of this species alongside the north Mediterranean coast in order to enhance its survival possibilities in wild ecosystems.




Tura-Poch, C., Prat-Vericat, M., Sorbelli, L., Rufí, I., Boscaini, A., Iurino, D. A., & Madurell-Malapeira, J. (2023). Late Pleistocene Mediterranean lynx remains from Avenc del Marge del Moro (NE Iberian Peninsula). Historical Biology, 35(3), 375–387.

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