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  • 1 Department of Paleontology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
  • 2 H-1117, Budapest, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/c, Hungary
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Abstract

A single tooth from the locality of Üröm-hegy (Hungary) was designated as the holotype specimen of “Archidiskodon meridionalis ürömensis” by Vörös (1979). The observed morphology of the tooth, with a minimum of 15 molar plates (most likely 17) led to the conclusion that this specimen belongs to Mammuthus trogontherii rather than a subspecies of M. meridionalis. On the basis of rodent biostratigraphy a date in the region of MIS 19-17 seems likely (i.e. c. 0.8 Ma — c. 0.7 Ma). Taking into account the meridionalis-like enamel thickness (3.1 to 3.4 mm, mean 3.2 mm) as well as the intermediate or slightly advanced relative crown height (1.65) and lamellar frequency (6), the specimen shows mosaic morphology, which fits well in the framework of the contemporaneous European mammoth-bearing localities (e.g. Voigtstedt). Taking all the evidence together it seems that this molar is not only a misinterpreted specimen, but a representative of a very important period of mammoth evolution in Eurasia, when M. meridionalis and M. trogontherii occurred together in Europe and when the genetic mixing between the adjacent populations resulted in a hybrid zone, which was responsible for mosaic or intermediate individuals, such as the holotype of “Archidiskodon meridionalis ürömensis”.

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