Nikolsky P.A., Tesakov A.S. 2003. Sarkel, a new locality of Tamanian theriofauna in the lower Don River area. In: Theriofauna of Russia and adjacent areas. VII Congress of the Theriological Society. Volume of abstracts. p.236, Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Moscow.

Abstract in Russian.

Tesakov A.S., Titov V.V. 2003. New Late Miocene theriofauna from the Morskaya 2 locality. In: Theriofauna of Russia and adjacent areas. VII Congress of the Theriological Society. Volume of abstracts. p.347-348, Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Moscow.

Abstract in Russian.

Tesakov A.S., Dodonov A.E., Titov V.V., Trubikhin V.M. 2003. Geological settings of small mammal faunas in the east of the Sea of Azov. In: Dodonov A.E. , Velichko A.A. (Eds.), Loess and Paleoenvironment, 60-61; Moscow (Geos).

Abstract. The abrasion shoreline of the Taganrog Gulf of the Sea of Azov (TGSA) provides numerous outcrops of the Late Cenozoic deposits. Fossil mammalian faunas have an important role in the study of the area and recognition of the stratigraphic structure of the Quaternary sedimentary sequence (Baigusheva et al., 2001).

Late Pliocene fluviatile deposits of the northern coast. The Khapry Formation (K.F.) outcrops along the northern coast of the TGSA. The deposits are built by light quartz sands with clayey and gravelly interbeds. They lie on the eroded Upper Miocene limestones and are covered by variegated "Scythian clayes" referred to the upper Matuyama and early Bruhnes Chron. In all studied sections the deposits of K.F. are reversely magnetised. In the parastratoptype, the Liventsovka sandpit in the W suburbs of Rostov-on-Don, these deposits yielded rich fauna of large and small mammals. Several natural exposures of the K.F. occur in the cliff of the northern coast. Mammalian faunas suggest polycyclic formation of the Khapry deposits from late Middle to Late Pliocene. Small mammal assemblages are referred to Khapry faunistic complex are dominated by hypsodont rhizodont arvicolids Borsodia ex gr. newtoni-arankoides (Tesakov, 2002).

Lagoon deposits of the late Early Pleistocene build bases of sections in the south and partly northern coast of the TGSA and have lacustrian and fluviatile origin. It is suggested to consider them as the Port-Katon unit of the Azov-Kuban Formation by G.N.Rodzyanko. The unit is represented by mostly clayey sediments of blue and greenish colour. It lies on submerged lagoon Apsheronian (Early Pleistocene) sediments and is overlain by variegated "Scythian" deposits. The Port-Katon deposits are reversely magnetised. Remains of mammals are associated with bluish clays and ferruginous sands exposed near villages of Port-Katon (Markova, 1990), Semibalki (Recovets and Nadachowski, 1996), and Margaritovo. The micromammal association contains advanced forms of Allophaiomys, Lagurodon arankae, and dominant Mimomys intermedius. These faunas are referred to the Tamanian faunistic complex of the second half of the Early Pleistocene.

Fluviatile deposits of early Middle Pleistocene are represented by polymictic sands with abundant shells of molluscs at Semibalki, Azovian Kagalnik, Platovo. They overlie the Port-Katon unit and are covered with "Scythian" clays. This formation is frequently referred to as Semibalki terrace deposits of the Don River valley. The deposits are normally magnetised. The small mammal associations include Lagurus ex gr. posterius-transiens, Microtus nivaloides, Stenocranius ex gr. hintoni-gregaloides, Eolagurus argyropuloi and other forms referred to the Tiraspol faunistic complex of the early Middle Pleistocene.

Loess-paleosol sequence crowns the sections in the studied area. The sequence is normally magnetized and contains 5--6 loess-paleosol cycles. The basal cycles are poorly expressed being replaced by the underlying lagoon or river deposits. Remains of small mammals are poorly studied. They are sporadically met in the uppermost loess cycles and referred to the Late Pleistocene at Port-Katon, Pavlo-Ochakovo, and Beglitsa. The so far known small mammals (Stenocranius gregalis, Lagurus lagurus, Allactaga ex gr. jaculus, Pygerethmus sp., Spermophilus (Colobotis) cf. pygmaeus) indicate dry, possibly periglacial steppe conditions.

Small mammal record of the studied record shows an excellent sequence from the Late Pliocene to Holocene. However, several gaps in this record are obvious. Thus, there are no reliable data on the intervals of the early and middle parts of Early Pleistocene, and late Middle Pleistocene. The new data suggest a high potentials of the area for the refinement of Quaternary stratigraphy both at the regional and European scales.
This work was supported by RFBR projects nos. 02-05-64126, 02-05-39018.

Baigusheva V.S., Titov V.V., Tesakov A.S. 2001. The sequence of Plio-Pleistocene mammal faunas from the south Russian Plain (the Azov Region). Boll. Soc. Paleontol. Italiana, 40, 2, 133-138.
Markova A.K. 1990. The sequence of Early Pleistocene small-mammal faunas from the South Russian Plain. Quartärpaläontologie, 8, 131-151.
Recovets, L., Nadachowski, A. 1995. Pleistocene voles (Arvicolidae) of the Ukraine. Paleontologia i Evolucio, 28-29, 145-245.
Tesakov A.S. 2002. Biostratigraphy of Middle Pliocene - Eopleistocene of the south of Eastern Europe (based on small mammals). Abridged thesis of Diss. Cand. Sci. Moscow, GIN RAN, 25 pp.

Tesakov A.S. 2003. Early evolutionary stages of pitymyoid mimomyine voles (Pitymimomys, Arvicolinae, Cricetidae) from the Early Villanyian of Eastern Europe Coloquios de Paleontologia, vol.ext. 1, 659-668.

Abstract. Rhizodont voles belonging to the Mimomys pitymyoides group are common elements of the European small mam-malian faunas from Middle Pliocene to earliest Pleistocene. These voles with characteristic dental morphology are assigned to the genus Pitymimomys TESAKOV, 1998. The Early Villanyian evolution of the group is studied on the basis of the sequence:P. inceptor sp.nov., P. altenburgensis (RABEDER, 1981), and P. baschkiricus (SUCHOV, 1970).

Lopatin A.V., Tesakov A.S., Titov V.V. 2003. Late Miocene – early Pliocene porcupines (Rodentia, Hystricidae) from south European Russia. Russian Journal of Theriology, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 26-32.

Abstract. The revision of Anchitheriomys caucasicus (=Amblycastor caucasicus Argyropulo, 1939) from the early Pliocene (early Ruscinian, MN14) of Northern Caucasus resulted in its attribution to porcupines, rather than to beavers as was initially thought. This form from the Kosyakino sand pit represents a clear species of the porcupine genus Hystrix, H. caucasica. The species shows affinities with the group of semihypsodont porcupines, H. primigenia (Wagner, 1848) (MN12-13) – H. depereti Sen, 2001 (MN15). In size it is larger than the former and close to the latter species. A well preserved P4 from the late Miocene (late Turolian, MN13) locality Morskaya 2 in the Azov Sea Region indicates the first record of H. primigenia in Russia.

Tesakov A.S. 2003. Red-backed voles (Clethrionomys) in Plio-Pleistocene of Europe. In: Averianov, A.O. & Abramson, Natalia [Eds.]: Systematics, phylogeny and paleontology of small mammals. 209-210.

Abstract. The communication reviews the most important fossil records of the genus Clethrionomys in Europe and refines the taxonomic criteria within of the glareolus group. Furthermore, the origin and systematic position of the genus with references to fossil and recent rootless Clethrionomyini are briefly discussed. The European red-backed voles of the genus Clethrionomys are recorded from the early Late Pliocene (ca. 2.5 Ma) to Recent. Based on the dental morphology most described fossil forms can be assigned to the ancestry of the recent European bank vole, Clethrionomys glareolus (Rabeder, 1981; Carls and Rabeder, 1988; Tesakov, 1996, 1998; Popov, 2000). Five chronospecies document the gradual increase of the hypsodonty and the related growing complexity of occlusal morphology in this lineage. The taxonomy of the earliest forms (C. burgondiae, C. primitivus, C. kretzoii) need clarification. These late Pliocene forms show an accelerated increase of the hypsodonty comparable to that in most lineages of synchronous mimomyoid voles. Early Pleistocene vole of the lineage (C. hintonianus) is markedly more hypsodont than the Pliocene predecessors. However, hypsodonty increase during the Early Pleistocene was significantly lower. The Pleistocene forms (the Middle Pleistocene C. acrorhiza and Late Pleistocene to recent C. glareolus) show the further deceleration in hypsodonty advance.

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