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First study of the bat fossil record of the mid-Atlantic volcanic islands

First study of the bat fossil record of the mid-Atlantic volcanic islands ABSTRACT Bats are one of the most abundant and important mammals in ecosystems. However, their fossil record is scarce and fragile, making them difficult to find. Accordingly, there is no record of this group in the volcanic islands of the mid-Atlantic Ocean apart from the Canary Islands. This paper studies the first bat fossil record of the Canary Islands (Spain). The material studied is found within two Quaternary lava tubes, Cueva de los Verdes on Lanzarote and Cueva Roja on the island of El Hierro. The dental and humeral morphology and biometry are analysed and compared with current specimens. Among our results we highlight the first fossil data of two species endemic to the islands of the mid-Atlantic Ocean, Plecotus teneriffae and Pipistrellus maderensis, the former from the Canary Islands and the latter from the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands. We also confirm the presence of Pipistrellus kuhlii in the fossil record of the island of Lanzarote. No differences are observed between the dental morphology of the current and the fossil populations of P. maderensis and Pl. teneriffae. In the case of P. kuhlii, the populations of the Canary Islands and the Iberian Peninsula show differences in the paraconule with respect to the populations from central Europe. Palaeoecological studies of these taxa suggest that these islands presented a similar habitat when the sites were formed to the present-day habitat. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of The Royal Society of Edinburgh Cambridge University Press

First study of the bat fossil record of the mid-Atlantic volcanic islands


Abstract

ABSTRACT Bats are one of the most abundant and important mammals in ecosystems. However, their fossil record is scarce and fragile, making them difficult to find. Accordingly, there is no record of this group in the volcanic islands of the mid-Atlantic Ocean apart from the Canary Islands. This paper studies the first bat fossil record of the Canary Islands (Spain). The material studied is found within two Quaternary lava tubes, Cueva de los Verdes on Lanzarote and Cueva Roja on the island of El Hierro. The dental and humeral morphology and biometry are analysed and compared with current specimens. Among our results we highlight the first fossil data of two species endemic to the islands of the mid-Atlantic Ocean, Plecotus teneriffae and Pipistrellus maderensis, the former from the Canary Islands and the latter from the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands. We also confirm the presence of Pipistrellus kuhlii in the fossil record of the island of Lanzarote. No differences are observed between the dental morphology of the current and the fossil populations of P. maderensis and Pl. teneriffae. In the case of P. kuhlii, the populations of the Canary Islands and the Iberian Peninsula show differences in the paraconule with respect to the populations from central Europe. Palaeoecological studies of these taxa suggest that these islands presented a similar habitat when the sites were formed to the present-day habitat.

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Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Royal Society of Edinburgh
ISSN
1755-6929
eISSN
1755-6910
DOI
10.1017/S1755691021000384
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ABSTRACT Bats are one of the most abundant and important mammals in ecosystems. However, their fossil record is scarce and fragile, making them difficult to find. Accordingly, there is no record of this group in the volcanic islands of the mid-Atlantic Ocean apart from the Canary Islands. This paper studies the first bat fossil record of the Canary Islands (Spain). The material studied is found within two Quaternary lava tubes, Cueva de los Verdes on Lanzarote and Cueva Roja on the island of El Hierro. The dental and humeral morphology and biometry are analysed and compared with current specimens. Among our results we highlight the first fossil data of two species endemic to the islands of the mid-Atlantic Ocean, Plecotus teneriffae and Pipistrellus maderensis, the former from the Canary Islands and the latter from the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands. We also confirm the presence of Pipistrellus kuhlii in the fossil record of the island of Lanzarote. No differences are observed between the dental morphology of the current and the fossil populations of P. maderensis and Pl. teneriffae. In the case of P. kuhlii, the populations of the Canary Islands and the Iberian Peninsula show differences in the paraconule with respect to the populations from central Europe. Palaeoecological studies of these taxa suggest that these islands presented a similar habitat when the sites were formed to the present-day habitat.

Journal

Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of The Royal Society of EdinburghCambridge University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2022

Keywords: Canary Islands; Chiroptera; conservation; dental morphology; Holocene

References