Hugues-Alexandre Blain

Hugues-Alexandre Blain
Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social | IPHES · Human Paleoecology of the Plio-Pleistocene

Ph.D.

About

260
Publications
71,450
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Introduction
Evolution of amphibians and reptiles during the Quaternary in the Mediterranean Basin; Systematic Paleontology, Osteology; Paleoclimatology of the Quaternary based on fossil herpetological assemblages; Reconstruction of the Quaternary paleoenvironments; Climatic and ecological context of human evolution; Biotic responses to the climatic and environmental changes; Extinction of amphibians and reptiles during the Quaternary.
Additional affiliations
January 2007 - present
Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social
Position
  • Researcher
Education
September 2001 - November 2005
Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle
Field of study
  • Contribution de la paléoherpétofaune (Amphibia & Squamata) à la connaissance de l’évolution du climat et du paysage du Pliocène supérieur au Pléistocène moyen d’Espagne.
September 2000 - June 2001
Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle
Field of study
  • Quaternaire: Géologie, Paléontologie Humaine et Préhistoire
September 1999 - June 2000
Université de Caen Normandie
Field of study
  • Sciences de la Terre

Publications

Publications (260)
Article
The environmental and climatic evolution of the late Middle Pleistocene to Late Pleistocene of the Garraf Massif (northeastern Iberia) is determined for Marine Isotope Stage 7 (MIS 7) to MIS 3 on the basis of a study of the small-vertebrate (amphibian, squamate reptile, insectivore, bat and rodent) assemblages. This paper provides a synthesis of th...
Article
Full-text available
El Salt (Middle Palaeolithic; Alcoi, Spain) is a key site for understanding the disappearance of Neanderthals in the eastern Iberian Peninsula, a process that is observed along its stratigraphic sequence. To improve our understanding of the palaeoclimatic context in which this process took place, we applied the UDA-ODA discrimination technique to t...
Article
Palynological investigations in the Orce Archaeological Zone (OAZ) (Guadix-Baza Basin, Granada, Spain), Venta Micena 1 (VM1), Barranco León (BL) and Fuente Nueva 3 (FN3) are presented. This archaeological region is connected with the first Homo populations in Western Eurasia during the Early Pleistocene. The VM1 pollen record is characterized by Ep...
Article
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Little is known about the subsistence practices of the first European settlers, mainly due to the shortage of archaeological sites in Europe older than a million years. This article contributes to the knowledge of the subsistence of the first Europeans with new zooarchaeology and taphonomic data from the Palaeolithic site of Barranco León (Orce, Gr...
Article
With the identification of the Jaramillo geomagnetic subchron, the late Early Pleistocene vertebrate succession of the Quibas-Sima section (Quibas karstic complex, southern Spain) represents a time span scarcely recorded in Europe. To complete the existing chronostratigraphic framework published earlier by Piñero et al. (2020), we provide here addi...
Article
This first report aims to illustrate the Middle Palaeolithic site of Vajo Salsone in the Monti Lessini plateau in the eastern Italian Alps, its geological and geomorphological context, the conditions leading to its discovery occurred after a road cutting, and the archaeological excavation of a karst structure where the sediments, faunal and cultura...
Article
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Lateral Gallery 1 (GL1) in Cova del Gegant is a Middle Palaeolithic assemblage yielding diagnostic Neanderthal remains, together with Mousterian tools and faunal remains. It is a good archive for evaluating the environmental conditions of the coastal areas during MIS 4 and MIS 3 in the NE of the Iberian Peninsula, and also the Neanderthals’ behavio...
Article
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The Aïn Beni Mathar – Guefaït (ABM-GFT) region in Eastern Morocco is the object of anarchaeological, palaeontological, geological and geochronological research project, led by an interna-tional team since 2006. The research in this former fluvio-lacustrine basin, roughly 2000 km2, hasrevealed a significant number of Pleistocene and Holocene sites....
Article
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The Meuse and its tributary valleys contain numerous Late Pleistocene cave sites that have yielded one of the largest collections of Neanderthal and Mousterian lithic industries in Europe. Today, it is an important north–south migratory corridor for flora and fauna, generating rich biotopes. The Quaternary collections of the Royal Belgian Institute...
Article
Dmanisi (Georgia) is one of the oldest Early Paleolithic sites discovered out of Africa. In addition, it is the best site to understand the first Homo deme out of Africa and the first hominin occupation of Central to Western Eurasia. It has produced more than 40 hominin remains, including several very informative skulls, found in direct association...
Article
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The oldest European remains of marmots (Genus Marmota) are 0.8 my old and come from the site of Gran Dolina, Atapuerca. Dental measurements from the specimens recovered at Gran Dolina are compared with other Early Pleistocene fossil marmots from Croatia; as well as a set of Middle and Late Pleistocene marmots from France and Italy and Middle Pleist...
Article
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Over the last few decades, several types of evidence such as presence of hominin remains, lithic assemblages, and bones with anthropogenic surface modifications have demonstrated that early human communities inhabited the European subcontinent prior to the Jaramillo Subchron (1.07–0.98 Ma). While most studies have focused primarily on early Europea...
Article
Amphibians are considered excellent indicators of ecological and climatic changes with a remarkable phenotypic plasticity. The study of such adaptative capacities is central to understanding the climate and environmental changes that occurred during the Early-Middle Pleistocene Transition, at around 1.2 Ma, when the persistence of subtropical ecosy...
Article
The interior of the Iberian Peninsula has few Middle Palaeolithic sites, especially when compared to other areas of the Mediterranean Basin and the northern Spanish region. Few in number too are the zooarchaeological and taphonomic studies that throw light on the relationships between Neanderthal groups, their environment, and the use they made of...
Article
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The Guadix-Baza Basin (GBB) in Andalucía, Spain, comprises palaeontological and archaeological sites dating from the Early Pliocene to the Middle Pleistocene, including some of the earliest sites with evidence for the presence of early humans (Homo sp.) in Europe. Thus, the history of climate and environments in this basin contributes significantly...
Article
The Holocene has always been considered a crucial epoch where the major cultural steps of humankind took place. Understanding past Holocene climatic variability, shifts in vegetation, and faunal communities are among crucial challenges in predicting the upcoming changes of the natural environment. In Central Europe, the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland i...
Article
In contrast with the well documented strain on extant amphibian and reptile populations today, the Quaternary fossil record of these groups is very conservative showing few changes over long periods of time. In order to establish the non-human-induced effect of climate change on herpetofaunal diversity, we collected data from Pleistocene sites in t...
Article
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Venta Micena is an area containing several palaeontological sites marking the beginning of the Calabrian stage (Early Pleistocene). The richness of the fossil accumulation including species of Asian, African and European origin, makes Venta Micena a key site for the the palaeoecological and palaeoenvironmental study of southern Europe during the Ea...
Article
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Barranco León (Orce, Andalusia, Spain) provides the oldest case of knapping and percussive activities on an ancient raw material reservoir deposit. This site has already proven to be one of the oldest and most significant Oldowan open-air sites in Europe (1.4 Ma), with an exceptionally rich flint and limestone lithic assemblage, in association with...
Article
Marine Isotope Stage 6 (MIS 6; ca. 185–135 ka) is the penultimate glacial stage and constitutes the end of the Middle Pleistocene. This glacial period is typified by generally cold and dry conditions in the western Mediterranean region. Despite the relatively large number of pollen and speleothem studies of MIS 6 in this region, the number of MIS 6...
Article
Fish bones are common in Pleistocene cave deposits in Europe. In this paper, we report on fish remains from the Gran Dolina cave (Trinchera del Ferrocarril) in the Sierra de Atapuerca in Spain, to increase what is known of the freshwater ecosystems close to the cave. The 19-m-thick section, divided into 11 stratigraphic levels, represents an Early...
Article
Archaeological remains have highlighted the fact that the interglacial Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 was a threshold from the perspective of hominin evolution in Europe. After the MIS 12 glaciation, considered one of the major climate-driven crises experienced by hominins, the archaeological records show an increasing number of occupations, evidenc...
Article
The Early Pleistocene sites of Barranco León and Fuente Nueva 3 (Guadix-Baza Basin, SE Spain) have yielded abundant Oldowan lithic artifacts and one hominin tooth (Homo sp. in level D1 or D2 of Barranco León), today considered to be among the earliest evidence for a hominin presence in Western Europe, at ca. 1.4–1.2 Ma. Here, for the first time, th...
Presentation
Full-text available
In this work, we present new paleoenvironmental reconstructions for Barranco León (Guadix-Baza Basin, SE Spain), an Early Pleistocene archaeo-palaeontological site nowadays considered one of the earliest sites with hominin evidences in western Europe (ca. 1.4 Ma). Paleoenvironmental reconstructions have been done within a more detailed stratigraphi...
Article
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En este trabajo se resumen los estudios llevados a cabo en los distintos yacimientos arqueopa-leontológicos de Orce durante las últimas décadas, haciendo especial hincapié en los resultados obtenidos a raíz de las últimas campañas de excavación (2017-2020), enmarcadas en el Proyecto General de Investigación «Primeras ocupaciones humanas y contexto...
Article
The skull osteology of Hierophis viridiflavus is here described and figured in detail on the basis of 18 specimens. The sample includes specimens from the ranges of both H. viridiflavus viridiflavus and H. viridiflavus carbonarius as well as specimens not identified at sub-specific level. The main characters that define H. viridiflavus in compariso...
Article
The Middle East, specially the Zagros region, lies in a strategic position as a crossroads between Africa, Europe and eastern Asia. The landscape of this region that prevailed around the Neanderthal and anatomically modern human occupations is not well known. Only a few sites have been studied in detail in this area, often providing only a faunal l...
Article
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The Voroncha site is an accumulation of Holocene small vertebrates, from which numerous amphibian and reptile remains have been recovered continuously over the course of many years. The accumulation has been said to represent a badger or fox den on a gully slope. The latest available collection contains some 11,538 herpetofauna bones suitable for s...
Article
The country of Serbia is situated on the Balkan Peninsula and has a moderate continental climate. Dramatic tectonic activity in the early Miocene generated two main mountain ranges and led to the retreat of Paratethys. This meant the Balkan Peninsula became a crossroads for many migrating species. Currently, the majority of central European species...
Article
Anurans, such as frogs and toads, are occasionally very abundant in archaeo-paleontological sites and representing >80% of the remains. These accumulations have been linked mainly to human consumption in the European context, by the preferential selection of body parts and by the presence of burning, and to a lesser extent, cut marks (as in Chalain...
Article
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RESUMEN Los tres yacimientos de vertebrados del Barremiense superior descubiertos recientemente en las "Hoces de Beteta" (Vadillos-1, Vadillos-2, El Tobar) se encuentran situados en facies "Weald" pertenecientes a la Formación Arenas y Arcillas de El Collado. En ellos, se han identificado distintos tipos de fósiles correspondientes a plantas (ABSTR...
Article
The locality of Udabno, Georgia, preserves material referred to the hominoid primate Dryopithecus. In this study, we describe the microvertebrate fauna from the site, which includes fishes (Scardinius sp., Carassius sp.), anurans (Pelophylax sp.), squamates (Lacertidae indet., Ophidia indet.), insectivores (Schizogalerix sinapensis, Turiasorex cf....
Article
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In this paper, the early Pleistocene small vertebrate sequence of Quibas-Sima (Quibas karstic complex, Murcia, SE Spain) is presented. The available magnetostratigraphic information together with the small vertebrate association, allow to reliably constrain the age of the different units. The basal unit of the section has recorded a reversed polari...
Article
In the Mediterranean realm, the development of navigation techniques by humans during the Mesolithic and the Neolithic favoured the dispersal of some small mammal species from Africa and the Levant into the European continent. Many details of this process still remain unclear such as the exact date of first arrivals of each species or how their dis...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
En este trabajo se presenta de forma preliminar la sucesión de microvertebrados de Quibas-Sima, una de las dos estructuras principales del yacimiento paleontológico de Quibas (Abanilla, Murcia). La sección incluye siete niveles estratigráficos bien diferenciados (QS-1 a QS-7), cinco de los cuales con contenido fosilífero (QS-1 a QS-4, QS7). Se ha r...
Article
Understanding past climate and the mechanisms of climate change remain major challenges in scientific research. The Mutual Ecogeographic Range (MER) method for climatic reconstruction uses the current geographical distribution of fossil assemblages to infer palaeoclimatic conditions. Current species distributions used in the MER method are usually...
Article
Human movements in the regions surrounding the Mediterranean Sea have caused a great impact in the composition of terrestrial fauna due to the introductions of several allochthonous species, intentionally or not. Reptiles are one of the groups where this anthropic impact is most evident, owing to the extensive intra-Mediterranean dispersals of rece...
Article
Early Pleistocene terrestrial climate conditions in the Mediterranean region, especially between 1.3 and 1.7 Ma, are poorly understood. Here, the amphibian and reptile fossil record from 24 fissures (Cava Pirro) of the Pirro Nord karstic complex (southern Italy) is used to infer quantitative paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental reconstructions. The...
Article
Archeological sites usually provide important information about the past distribution ofsmall vertebrate fauna, and by extension about past terrestrial environments and climatein which human activities took place. In this context, Belgium has an interesting location innorthwestern Europe between the fully studied zooarcheological records of Germany...
Article
Disarticulated remains of anguid lizards from the latest Early Pleistocene of the Sierra de Quibas (Abanilla, Murcia, SE Spain) are described and assigned to a new species, Ophisaurus manchenioi. Although Ophisaurus is still extant in subtropical humid environments in North America, Northern Africa, and Southeast Asia, the new species is the younge...
Article
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La cova de Mollet és un jaciment clàssic dins la prehistòria paleolítica de Catalunya. Conegut a partir de les intervencions de Josep M. Corominas i pels diferents estudis dels materials procedents d’aquestes –com el primer que va tenir ressò internacional, el d'Eduard Ripoll i Henry de Lumley–, fins fa poc presentava l’inconvenient que tota la inf...
Article
The recent publication of a human cranium, dating to ca. 436–390 ka, from Gruta da Aroeira provides an important input to the debate about human evolution during the Middle Pleistocene in Europe and the origin of the Neanderthals. This cranium, chronologically located to Marine Isotope Stage 11c (MIS 11c), appears in association with Acheulean lith...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The microvertebrate record of Udabno includes fishes (Scardinius sp., Carassius sp.) anourans (Pelophylax sp.), squamates (Lacertidae indet., Ophidia indet.), insectivores (Schizogalerix sp., cf. Turiasorex pierremeini) and rodents (Byzantinia pikermiensis, Hansdebruijnia erksinae, Vasseuromys pannonicus). The rodent association of the cricetid Byz...
Article
The pattern of the varying climatic conditions in southern Europe over the last million years is well known from isotope studies on deep-ocean sediment cores and the long pollen records that have been produced for lacustrine and marine sedimentary sequences from Greece, Italy and the Iberian margin. However, although relative glacial and interglaci...
Poster
Full-text available
Since the first half of the 1970s a number of studies on the microvertebrates of the Late Pleistocene of the Iberian Peninsula have been undertaken. In northwest Iberia, however, we only have the small-vertebrate analyses of Valdavara-1 and A Valiña. In this paper we are going to present the data from Cova Eirós. Cova Eirós is emerging as a referen...
Article
Valdavara 3 is a new early late Pleistocene paleontological and archeological cave site in northwestern Iberia. Over 1400 fossils have been collected, representing about 40 species. The fauna is of interglacial aspect and is in accordance with the OSL dates from the fossiliferous layer, which indicate an age of 103–113 ka. The great taxonomical div...
Article
Few Quaternary herpetofaunas have been recovered from The Netherlands. Among these, the one coming from the early Pleistocene site of the Russel-Tiglia-Egypte pit near Tegelen is of particular interest , because it is the type locality of the recently described, last western European palaeobatrachid anuran, Palaeobatrachus eurydices. The large numb...
Article
Global climatic changes affect organisms in all biomes and ecosystems of the planet. During Pleistocene, consecutive glaciation events rise climate as a conditioning factor for presence and vital development of herpetofauna species, both at European and Iberian scale. During this glacial period, Iberian Peninsula constitutes a meridional refuge for...
Article
The successive fossil amphibian and reptile assemblages from the Middle to Late Pleistocene sites from the Manzanares and Jarama River Valleys (Madrid, central Spain) permitted the reconstruction of part of the climate instability with high-amplitude and rapid shifts of the last 450 ka and their associated landscapes: Áridos-1 (MIS11b), Valdocarros...
Article
The successive fossil amphibian and reptile assemblages from the Middle to Late Pleistocene sites from the Manzanares and Jarama River Valleys (Madrid, central Spain) permitted the reconstruction of part of the climate instability with high-amplitude and rapid shifts of the last 450 ka and their associated landscapes: Áridos-1 (MIS11b), Valdocarros...
Article
Full-text available
Level TE9c of the Sima del Elefante site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain) is one of the oldest sites with evidence of human occupation in western Europe. We began excavating level TE9c in 2003, and the work there continues today. The studies of the archaeology, palaeontology and geology from this locality have provided an indispensable dataset with whi...
Article
Among the Early Pleistocene Italian fossil herpetofaunas, Rivoli Veronese is remarkable in having yielded the youngest known allocaudates, represented by Albanerpeton pannonicum, together with remains of other amphibians and reptiles. The assemblage includes at least 15 other taxa, including two caudates (Speleomantes sp., Ichthyosaura alpestris),...
Article
Nearly 250 small mammal remains from Unit Xb of El Salt Middle Palaeolithic site have been studied in order to reconstruct the palaeoecological conditions during a phase of Neanderthal occupation in this locality at 52.3 ± 4.6 ka. A total of 7rodents (Microtus arvalis, M. agrestis, M. (Terricola) duodecimcostatus, Microtus (Iberomys) cabrerae, Arvi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Aïn Beni Mathar-Guefaït basin provides a long stratigraphic sequence and a faunal record that covers the Early and Middle Pleistocene. During the Pliocene and Early Pleistocene, a fluvio-lacustrine basin developed in the area. This landscape has been occupied by hominin developing a Mode 1 technology. This fluvio-lacustrine basin has its final...
Article
In the eastern Iberian Peninsula, the archaeological site of Cuesta de la Bajada (Teruel, Spain) has produced some of the earliest evidence of Middle Paleolithic stone tool traditions together with evidence of equid and cervid carcasses defleshed by hominins. Based on the numerical age of 317-240 ka derived from OSL, ESR and AAR dating methods for...
Article
In recent years several studies have been carried out to test the validity of Bergmann's rule for amphibians, and have generated varying results. Due to the lack of agreement on this topic, here we examine the relationship between climate and body size for one anuran species (Bufo calamita, commonly known as the natterjack toad) with a new methodol...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Castillejo del Bonete es un yacimiento arqueológico prehistórico localizado en las estribaciones septentrionales de Sierra Morena, en el término municipal de Terrinches (Ciudad Real). Está constituido por una cueva monumentalizada mediante varias estructuras, entre las que destacan varios corredores megalíticos y túmulos. Se encuadra cronológicamen...
Article
Despite being described in 1993, the skeleton of Rana pyrenaica Serra-Cobo, 1993 has never been investigated. The present publication thus represents the first description of the osteology of the spring-dwelling Pyrenean small brown frog. Its specific status is osteologically supported by some discrete differences. When compared with other Iberian...