Journal article

Lizards and snakes from the late Miocene hominoid locality of Ravin de la Pluie (Axios Valley, Greece)

  • Georgalis, Georgios L. Department of Geosciences University of Fribourg, Switzerland - Department of Earth Sciences University of Torino, Italy
  • Rage, Jean-Claude Sorbonne Universités, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle Paris, France
  • Bonis, Louis de Institut de paléoprimatologie, Université de Poitiers, France
  • Koufos, George D. Department of Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
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Published in:
  • Swiss Journal of Geosciences. - 2018, vol. 111, no. 1–2, p. 169–181
English We here describe lizards and snakes from the late Miocene (MN 10) of Ravin de la Pluie, near Thessaloniki, Greece, a locality widely known for its hominoid primate Ouranopithecus macedoniensis. The new finds comprise two large-sized lizards (a probable anguine and a varanid) and two snakes (an elapid and a small-sized “colubrine”). Even if the material is represented by few specimens, this is the first record of squamates from the late Miocene MN 10 biozone of southeastern Europe and the third only for the whole continent. The importance of the varanid vertebrae for systematic attributions is discussed. The new varanid limb elements described herein rank among the few such specimens in the fossil record of monitor lizards. Judging from the new and previously published varanid appendicular material, we suggest that Neogene monitor lizards from Europe possessed comparatively short and robustly built limbs. Distinctive scars on one of the limb elements are interpreted as bite marks of a predator or scavenger, offering insights on the palaeoecology of the herpetofauna of the locality.
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Département de Géosciences
  • English
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