An early mammoth maxilla from north-western Greece
A right elephantine maxilla bearing the two last molars is described and discussed here. The specimen comes from the fluvial deposits filling up the post-molassic morpho-tectonic valleys of the upper Haliakmon river-system in NW Greece. According to indirect evidence it would be chronologically framed between 3.5 and 3.0 Ma (late Pliocene). A detailed morphological and metrical comparison supported by computed tomography allows ascribing the maxilla to a primitive Eurasian mammoth species, more advanced than the “Hadar type” of mammoth from Ethiopia and less than Mammuthus africanavus from North Africa or Pleistocene southern mammoths (Mammuthus meridionalis) from Eurasia. The molars show strong affinities to several Eurasian specimens recently referred to Mammuthus rumanus, a species that needs, however, a systematic revision.
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