The earliest Hystrix refossa: a new Early Villafranchian record from Milia (Grevena, Macedonia, Greece)
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Aristotle University, Geology School, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Senckenberg Research Institute, Germany
Online publication date: 2019-03-13
Publication date: 2019-03-13
Corresponding author
Lutz Christian Maul   

Senckenberg Research Institute
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2019;30(1):12–18
From the Early Villafranchian site of Milia (Grevena) in northern Greece a mandible fragment of a porcupine with part of the incisor has been recorded. Despite its fragmentary nature, morphologically the fossil has been referred unambiguously to the genus Hystrix; according to various size parameters it belongs to the species H. refossa. A compilation of all known porcupine fossils attributed to this species indicates that the find from Milia is the oldest record of H. refossa so far, the age of which is correlated with the early part of the informal Mammal Sub-Zone MN 16a. Age and location of the record suggest that — in parallel to the preceding species H. primigenia and H. depereti — the porcupine species H. refossa spread from south-east Europe (Balkans) eventually over Europe. The Milia porcupine presumably inhabited vegetated river banks within a mosaic of open and forested terrain under warm and humid conditions.
We thank Professor emeritus G.D. Koufos (Thessaloniki, Greece) for providing access to the Gerakarou material, S. Rhodes (Tübingen, Germany) for improving the English and fruitful discussion, and L. van den Hoek Ostende (Leiden) for critical remarks that considerably improved the text. Also the anonymous reviewers who contributed to the improvement of the text are deeply thanked.