David M. Alba

David M. Alba
Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont | ICP · Area Neogene and Quaternary Faunas

Ph.D.

About

361
Publications
109,114
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4,537
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2012 - present
Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont
May 2008 - October 2009
Università degli Studi di Firenze
May 2008 - June 2012
Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont
Position
  • Research

Publications

Publications (361)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The taxonomy and phylogeny of the small to mid-sized Plio-Pleistocene cervids of Europe, commonly known as Dama-like deer, have been a matter of vast dispute, as specimens referred to this group have been attributed to multiple genera such as: Dama, Pseudodama, Axis, Euraxis, Rusa and Metacervocerus. Here we present a preliminary study of 305 cervi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Cercopithecoids are relatively common in the fossil Plio-Pleistocene record of Africa and are found in most South African hominin-bearing localities. Due to their usefulness in paleoenvironmental reconstruction and biostratigraphy, many research efforts have been dedicated to them. However, the taxonomic attribution of several specimens remains pro...
Conference Paper
The calcaneus plays a critical role in efficient foot movement required to navigate differing substrate conditions such as of the arboreal milieu. Therefore, we quantitatively studied the functional morphology of this bone in a large sample of extant primates using a novel 3D geometric morphometrics approach that combines anatomical landmarks along...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Pliocene and Early Pleistocene three-toed horses of Western Eurasia (Caucasus, Anatolia, Balkans, Eastern and Central Europe, Italian and Iberian peninsulae and England) have been studied since the second half of the 19th Century, with the following taxa identified from several fossiliferous sites: “Hipparion” crassum, “Hipparion” rocinantis, “...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Tooth crown morphology plays a critical role in primate systematics, notably to make taxonomic assessments and to reconstruct the evolutionary history of hominids and hominins in particular. Compared with the outer enamel surface, which can be affected by wear and various taphonomic processes, the enamel-dentine junction (EDJ) is generally better p...
Poster
Full-text available
Phylogenetic hypotheses about the Miocene small-bodied catarrhine Pliobates cataloniae (11.6 Ma, NE Iberian Peninsula) consider it a stem hominoid, a pliopithecoid, or a dendropithecid. Given the phylogenetic signal carried by semicircular canals, we compared their morphology in Pliobates with that of extant and fossil anthropoids using deformation...
Article
Els Casots is one of the richest fossil vertebrate sites of the Vallès-Penedès Basin (Catalonia, Spain). It was discovered in 1989 and excavated briefly during the 1990s, resulting in the recovery of thousands of remains and the erection of several new mammal species. Excavations were resumed in 2018 and continue to date. Here we provide updated re...
Article
Homo erectus s.l. is key for deciphering the origin and subsequent evolution of genus Homo. However, the characterization of this species is hindered by the existence of multiple variants in both mainland and insular Asia, as a result of divergent chronogeographical evolutionary trends, genetic isolation, and interbreeding with other human species....
Conference Paper
The calcaneus is among the most useful post-cranial elements for inferring the positional behavior of extinct primates, which is key to test hypotheses on the paleobiology and adapta-tions of this group throughout its evolutionary history. With this aim in mind, we quantitatively assessed the phylogenetic signal embedded in the calcaneus based on a...
Article
The small-bodied Miocene catarrhine Pliobates cataloniae (11.6 Ma, Spain) displays a mosaic of catarrhine symplesiomorphies and hominoid synapomorphies that hinders deciphering its phylogenetic relationships. Based on cladistic analyses, it has been interpreted as a stem hominoid or as a pliopithecoid. Intriguingly, the carotid canal orientation of...
Poster
Full-text available
Housed in the petrosal portion of the temporal bone, the inner ear bony labyrinth holds morphological information that has been used to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships, to ascertain taxonomic affinities [1], and to infer locomotor behaviors [2] and hearing capabilities [3]. Cochlear shape has been proven useful to ascertain the taxonomy and...
Article
Full-text available
Deinotheres (Proboscidea, Deinotheriidae) are a clade of non-elephantiform proboscideans that originated in Africa and dispersed into Eurasia by the early Miocene. In Europe, deinotheres are first recorded in Greece during MN3, although they did not become a common faunal element throughout Europe until MN4. Early Miocene (MN3–MN4) deinothere remai...
Article
Eomellivora is a large-bodied mellivorine mustelid genus widely distributed throughout Eurasia and North America during the late Miocene (MN9-MN13). Here, we report the oldest Eurasian material of Eomellivora based on a palate and two mandibular fragments from ACM/PTA-A2, a pre-Vallesian (11.21 Ma; latest MN7 +8) locality of Abocador de Can Mata (V...
Article
Pliopithecoids are a diverse group of Miocene catarrhine primates from Eurasia. Their positional behavior is still unknown, and many species are known exclusively from dentognathic remains. Here, we describe a proximal radius (IPS66267) from the late Miocene of Castell de Barberà (Vallès-Penedès Basin, NE Iberian Peninsula) that represents the firs...
Article
Extensive fieldwork at Abocador de Can Mata (north-east Iberian Peninsula) has uncovered a previously unsuspected diversity of catarrhine primates in the middle Miocene (12.5–11.6 Ma) of Europe. However, the distinction of the great ape genera Pierolapithecus and Anoiapithecus from Dryopithecus (supported by craniodental differences) has been dispu...
Article
Full-text available
Humans diverged from apes (chimpanzees, specifically) toward the end of the Miocene ~9.3 million to 6.5 million years ago. Understanding the origins of the human lineage (hominins) requires reconstructing the morphology, behavior, and environment of the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor. Modern hominoids (that is, humans and apes) share multipl...
Article
Czujan's sandpit is an abandoned quarry in the Vienna Basin (Mikulov, Czech Republic) that has yielded an important middle Miocene vertebrate assemblage. Here we re-describe the site from the perspective of sedimentology, taphonomy, and paleoenvironments, and further review the biochronology of the fauna to clarify the age. The updated faunal list...
Article
The evolutionary history of Bison is a matter of debate due to the scarcity of fossil remains from the earliest members of this clade and the close morphological similarities among species. To clarify the taxonomic status of the earliest stouter bison and their relationships to their putative ancestor, Leptobos, as well as other primitive forms tra...
Article
Full-text available
Dentognathic remains of European Middle Pleistocene Vulpini are scarce and fragmentary. They have classically been attributed to several species, but many taxonomic and phylogenetic uncertainties remain. Here we describe a fox well-preserved maxilla with associated mandible from the Middle Pleistocene layers of the Vallparadís Section (EVT3; ca. 0....
Article
Pliopithecoids are an extinct group of catarrhine primates from the Miocene of Eurasia. More than 50 years ago, they were linked to hylobatids due to some morphological similarities, but most subsequent studies have supported a stem catarrhine status, due to the retention of multiple plesiomorphic features (e.g., the ectotympanic morphology) relati...
Article
Late Miocene great apes are key to reconstructing the ancestral morphotype from which earliest hominins evolved. Despite consensus that the late Miocene dryopith great apes Hispanopithecus laietanus (Spain) and Rudapithecus hungaricus (Hungary) are closely related (Hominidae), ongoing debate on their phylogenetic relationships with extant apes (ste...
Article
Full-text available
Background The two main primate groups recorded throughout the European Miocene, hominoids and pliopithecoids, seldom co-occur. Due to both their rarity and insufficiently understood palaeoecology, it is currently unclear whether the infrequent co-occurrence of these groups is due to sampling bias or reflects different ecological preferences. Here...
Article
Three species of Deinotherium sensu stricto (Proboscidea, Deinotheriidae), i.e., excluding Prodeinotherium, generally considered to have nonoverlapping chronostratigraphic distributions, are currently recognized from the Miocene of Europe: Deinotherium levius (late Astaracian/Aragonian, MN7+8), Deinotherium giganteum (type species; Vallesian, MN9–M...
Article
The dispersal of Crocodylus from Africa to Europe during the Miocene is not well understood. A small collection of cranial fragments and postcranial elements from the latest Miocene (6.2 Ma) site of Venta del Moro (Valencia, Spain) have previously been referred to Crocodylus cf. C. checchiai Maccagno, 1947 without accompanying descriptions. Here we...
Article
Full-text available
We describe new dental remains of the genus Iberictis (Carnivora: Mustelidae) from the late early Miocene of the Iberian Peninsula. The new fossils of Iberictis azanzae from Artesilla (16.5–16.3 Ma, MN4; Calatayud-Teruel Basin, Zaragoza, Spain) add important morphological information about this species. Material from another species, Iberictis bulo...
Article
Full-text available
Phylogenetic relationships among extinct hominoids (apes and humans) are controversial due to pervasive homoplasy and the incompleteness of the fossil record. The bony labyrinth might contribute to this debate, as it displays strong phylogenetic signal among other mammals. However, the potential of the vestibular apparatus for phylogenetic reconstr...
Article
The Vallparadís composite section (VCS) includes the nearby paleontological sites of Cal Guardiola and Vallparadís Estació (Vallès-Penedès Basin, northeastern Iberian Peninsula). The section spans from before the Jaramillo subchron to the early Middle Pleistocene (ca. 1.2-0.6 Ma). In this study, we describe the suid record from VCS and we review th...
Article
Only a few postcranial remains have been assigned to the Miocene great ape Dryopithecus fontani, leading to uncertainties in the reconstruction of its overall body plan and positional behavior. Here we shed light on the locomotor repertoire of this species through the study of the femoral neck cortical bone (FNCB) distribution of IPS41724, a partia...
Article
Fossil evidence indicates that numerous catarrhine clades of African origin expanded or shifted their ranges into Eurasia, among them macaques Macaca Lacépède, 1799. Macaques represent the sister taxon of African papionins and can thus be used as a model comparing an 'out-of-Africa' with an intra-African, e.g., baboons-Papio Erxleben, 1777 evolutio...
Article
Castell de Barbera�, located in the Valle�s-Penede�s Basin (NE Iberian Peninsula), is one of the few European sites where pliopithecoids (Barberapithecus) and hominoids (cf. Dryopithecus) co-occur. The dating of this Miocene site has proven controversial. A latest Aragonian (MN7þ8, ca. 11.88e11.18 Ma) age was long accepted by most authors, despite...
Article
Full-text available
We describe new specimens of the Miocene moschid Hispanomeryx, from the early Vallesian sites of Castell de Barberà (CB) and Ecoparc de Can Mata (ECM), Vallès-Penedès Basin, representing the first Iberian record of Hispanomeryx outside the inner Miocene basins. Fossils from ECM constitute Hispanomeryx lacetanus, sp. nov., the first Hispanomeryx to...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Vallparadís composite section includes the paleontological sites of Cal Guardiola and Vallparadís Estació, respectively located in the western and eastern bank of the Torrent de Vallparadís (Terrassa, Catalonia, NE Spain). The Vallparadís section spans from before the Jaramillo subchron to the early Middle Pleistocene (ca. 1.2–0.6 Ma). It inclu...
Article
The Early-Middle Pleistocene Transition (EMPT) (ca. 1.4–0.4 Ma) represents a fundamental transformation in the Earth's climate state, starting at 1.4 Ma with a progressive increase in the amplitude of climatic oscillations and the establishment of strong asymmetry in global ice volume cycles. The progressive shift from a 41kyr–100kyr orbital rhythm...
Article
Worm lizards, or amphisbaenians, of the genus Blanus are found in various countries around the Mediterranean Sea. In addition to four extinct species, seven extant taxa are currently recognized. Here, we present the first comparative analysis of the cranial osteology of Blanus including all extant species. The results of this analysis show a homoge...
Article
Full-text available
Monitor lizards (genus Varanus) inhabited Europe at least from the early Miocene to the Pleistocene. Their fossil record is limited to about 40 localities that have provided mostly isolated vertebrae. Due to the poor diagnostic value of these fossils, it was recently claimed that all the European species described prior to the 21st century are not...
Data
List of references consulted to score characters for the phylogenetic analysis. (PDF)
Data
Matrix used in the phylogenetic analyses. (NEX)
Data
Lists of the apomorphies of V. marathonensis, of the synapomorphies of the clade including V. marathonensis and the subgenus Indovaranus, and of Varanus (based on analysis 1B). (PDF)
Data
List of extant comparative specimens of Varanus. (PDF)
Data
New characters added to the original list of Conrad et al. [11]. (PDF)
Data
Results of the phylogenetic analysis 1A. (PDF)
Data
Results of the phylogenetic analysis 2A. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
Flying squirrels are the only group of gliding mammals with a remarkable diversity and wide geographical range. However, their evolutionary story is not well known. Thus far, identification of extinct flying squirrels has been exclusively based on dental features, which, contrary to certain postcranial characters, are not unique to them. Therefore,...
Article
In the Iberian Peninsula, Miocene apes (Hominoidea) are generally rare and mostly restricted to the Vallès-Penedès Basin. Here we report a new hominoid maxillary fragment with M2 from this basin. It was surface-collected in March 2017 from the site of Can Pallars i Llobateres (CPL, Sant Quirze del Vallès), where fossil apes had not been previously...
Article
Objectives: High-resolution imaging of fossils with X-ray computed microtomography (lCT) has become a very powerful tool in paleontological research. However, fossilized bone, embedding matrix, and dental tissues do not always provide a distinct structural signal with X-rays. We demonstrate the benefits of high-resolution neutron radiation in three...
Article
SUPPLEMENTAL DATA—Supplemental materials are available for this article for free at www.tandfonline.com/UJVP Citation for this article: Alba, D. M., A. S. Hammond, V. Vinuesa, and I. Casanovas-Vilar. 2018. First record of a Miocene pangolin (Pholidota, Manoidea) from the Iberian Peninsula. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2...
Article
Full-text available
El conocimiento sobre las tortugas gigantes fósiles de Europa se ha incrementado considerablemente en los últimos años y ha comportado la descripción del género Titanochelon para incluir a las especies del Neógeno europeo. Sin embargo, la inclusión de la tortuga gigante de las Islas Baleares, “Testudo” gymnesica, en este género se ha llevado a cabo...
Article
The single extant species of the anuran genus Latonia lives in Israel, but in the fossil record the genus is known mainly from Europe, spanning from the Oligocene to the early Pleistocene. Here we describe new remains of Latonia from the early to late Miocene of the Vallès-Penedès Basin (NE Iberian Peninsula), coming from the following localities:...
Article
The chronology of the first human dispersal out of Africa and the ecological role of the genus Homo in Europe as a scavenger or an active hunter during the late Early Pleistocene are two of the paleoanthropological topics most hotly debated during the last decades. The earliest human occurrences in Western Europe are recorded in the Iberian Peninsu...
Article
Full-text available
The European Miocene records a wide diversity of hyaenid ecomorphotypes represented by multiple genera. Among these, Hyaenictis Gaudry, 1861, is one of the least known. This genus includes four species from the late Miocene and Pliocene of the Old World, but in Europe Hyaenictis is only represented by two species, recorded by scarce and fragmentary...
Article
In this paper, we synthesize sedimentological, magnetostratigraphic and paleontological data from the continental vertebrate site of Puerto de la Cadena (Murcia, SE Spain), in order to clarify its age. The study site is located on the northern edge of the Carrascoy mountain range, in the upper part of the Cigarrón Unit. The end-Messinian discontinu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Continued paleontological fieldwork for more than ten years during the enlargement of the Abocador de Can Mata landfill (ACM; els Hostalets de Pierola, Vallès-Penedès Basin, NE Iberian Peninsula) led to the recovery of >60,000 vertebrate remains, incluing rare faunal elements such as pliopithecoid and hominoid primates. Based on magneto-, litho- an...