Remains of Mammuthus intermedius Jourdan, 1861 from the type localities of the Khazar fauna of the Lower Volga Region

M.V. Golovachev and V.V. Titov

Proceedings of the Zoological Institute RAS, 2018, 322(3): 268–284  ·

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The remains of teeth of different generations and jaws of the mammoth Mammuthus intermedius from the type localities of the Khazar faunal complex Cherniy Yar / Nizhnee Zaimische (late Middle Pleistocene – early Late Pleistocene, Lower Volga Region, Astrakhan Province, Russia) are described. The specimens are stored in the collection of the Astrakhan Museum-Reserve. Teeth M3 / m3 of this elephant consist, on average, of 22–24 enamel plates, with a lamellar frequency of 7.5–7.7 per 10 cm, and an enamel thickness of 1.8–1.9 mm. This species, described from the similar age deposits of Western Europe, appeared to be widely distributed in Eurasia during the period of the Saalian and the Eemian periods. The comparative analysis showed a marked difference between the teeth of this taxon from the same of M. trogontherii from Sussenborn (Germany), Tiraspol (Transnistria) and Kagalnik sand pit (Northeast Sea of Azov Region, Russia), the M. trogontherii chosaricus holotype by lamellar frequency, the length of single plate, enamel thickness and the total number of plates. The same differences were also revealed from Late Pleistocene woolly mammoths from Taimyr and Yakutia, including the neotype of M. primigenius primigenius. The similarity of the examined teeth from the collection of the Astrakhan Museum-Reserve to the teeth of M. intermedius from Western and Eastern Europe and Western Siberia was detected. M. intermedius, probably, was the most mass species of elephants of this period and occupied steppe biotopes. Less numerous M. trogontherii chosaricus and Palaeoloxodon antiquus with which it co-existed may have been the inhabitants of more forested landscapes.

Key words

Astrakhan Volga region, tooth characteristics, Mammuthus intermedius, Late Pleistocene, Middle Pleistocene, Khazar theriocomplex

Submitted March 1, 2018  ·  Accepted August 28, 2018  ·  Published September 26, 2018


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