Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences




An Early Pleistocene lacustrine faunal assemblage from Pasinler (Erzurum Province, north-eastern Turkey) is described, which encompasses 13 mollusc, 5 fish, 2 amphibian, 1 reptile, and 1 mammal species. The autochthonous freshwater mollusc fauna indicates shallow stagnant waters and a fine-sandy to muddy lake bottom, grown with submersed plants. The fish community (Leuciscus sp., Rutilus sp., Chondrostoma sp., Leuciscinae sp. 1 and 2, and Capoeta sp.) and autochthonous herpetofauna (Latonia sp. and Natrix sp.) provide evidence of a well-oxygenised palaeolake with rich periphyton and partially rocky to gravelly bottom. Moreover, the presence of the terrestrial snail Caspicyclotus cf. akramowsii, the peri- to semiaquatic Latonia, Natrix, and Allophaiomys cf. pliocaenicus reflects wet-shore habitats surrounding the lake. The specimens of Latonia sp. from Pasinler represent the youngest fossils of Latonia recorded from western Asia. Apparently, Latonia survived well into the Early Pleistocene in western Asia and southern Europe. Due to progressive cooling during the Late Pleistocene, however, the genus finally became extinct to the north of its present distribution area. The presence of the arvicolid Allophaiomys cf. pliocaenicus allows for dating the locality at ca. 1.0 to 1.55 Ma. The overlying alluvial sediments of the Pasinler Beds mark the onset of sedimentation of the Palaeo-Araks River into the basin and are Middle to Late Pleistocene in age.


Mollusca, Teleostei, Amphibia, Reptilia, Rodentia, palaeoecology, palaeogeography, Early Pleistocene, eastern Turkey

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