Table of Contents
Journal of Geological Research
Volume 2011, Article ID 245408, 11 pages
Research Article

Bos primigenius Bojanus, 1827 from the Early Late Pleistocene Deposit of Avetrana (Southern Italy) and the Variation in Size of the Species in Southern Europe: Preliminary Report

Department of Earth Science, Sapienza University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro 15, 00185 Rome, Italy

Received 29 December 2010; Accepted 18 April 2011

Academic Editor: Josep Pares

Copyright © 2011 Luca Pandolfi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Very abundant remains of Bos primigenius have been recovered in the early Late Pleistocene site of Avetrana (southern Italy). The site is characterized by a karst filling originated from a series of almost coeval depositional events. This discovery represents a rare record in the early Late Pleistocene of southern Europe. Biometrical analysis of the metapodial bones of aurochs from Avetrana gave the cue to examine the evolutive trend of the species in southern Europe, from the Middle Pleistocene to Holocene. This trend is characterized by an increase in size of the metapodial bones from Middle Pleistocene to early Late Pleistocene and to a decrease in size of the same during the late Late Pleistocene and Holocene. Also, the variations in size are competed by change in shape of the metapodial bones. These variations seem to be related with climatic fluctuations and competitions with Homo and Bison. At least, five evolutive stages are recognized; they constitute an important tool for the biochronological correlations among the Pleistocene sites of southern Europe.