The subfamily Gerbillinae as arid climate indicator
Keywords:Mediterranean Salinity Crisis, Gerbillinae, terrestrial biomes
AbstractDuring the Mediterranean Salinity Crisis, a great faunal exchange between North Africa and the south of the Iberian Peninsula took place. In this context, several fossil sites from Southern and Eastern Iberian Peninsula record the presence of immigrant rodents belonging to the subfamily Gerbillinae, which currently inhabit regions of Africa and Asia. Under the hypothesis that the climatic and environmental requirements of gerbils are similar to those of extinct fossil species, this study focuses on the environmental characterization of these species. Using GIS tools to determine the characteristic environmental conditions where this subfamily inhabits nowadays, we observe that most species of the subfamily Gerbillinae live whithin biomes under arid and warm conditions, such as those assumed for the end of the Miocene on the basis of the study of other proxy indicators.