In July 2013, a Stephanorhinus kirchbergensis (J€ager, 1839) skull was found along the Po River near Spinadesco (Cremona, Lombardia, Northern Italy). It was found in an excellent preservation status even if without the lower jaw as well as the third left upper molar. At that time, a certain amount of plant remains was found inside the dental fossettae. Later pollen analyses on this material were carried out in order to hypothesize the possible diet/ nutrition as well as the related living conditions of S. kirchbergensis on that territory. These analyses revealed that the material consists of peat containing an amount of 496 pollen and spores. This assemblage allows to assume that S. kirchbergensis from Spinadesco lived in interglacial periods within the MIS 19–MIS 5 time span (late Middle Pleistocene). The pollen complex is suggesting a palaeoenvironmental landscape like a grassy vast alluvial plain above which there were mesophilic forests dominated by beeches, therefore in a moderately humid climate. S. kirchbergensis from Spinadesco probably consumed twigs of the sea buckhorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) and Rosaceae shrubs as well as Asteraceae. Finally, the most probable time of its death and its relative burial was in a spring or in a summer period coinciding with blossom period for sea buckhorn. Up to now as few S. kirchbergensis remains were found in a relatively limited number of localities on the vast Eurasian landmass, it still appears to be a rare species. Furthermore, no chrono- or biostratigraphic data are available in most of the cases. The S. kirchbergensis skull from Spinadesco represents one of these cases.
Stephanorhinus kirchbergensis (Jäger, 1839) (Mammalia, Rhinocerotidae) from the Po Valley (Lombardia, Northern Italy): possible diet/nutrition and living conditions / Burkanova, Elena M.; Billia, Emmanuel M. E.; Persico, Davide. - In: QUATERNARY INTERNATIONAL. - ISSN 1040-6182. - (2020). [10.1016/j.quaint.2020.07.031]
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