Les Cases de la Valenciana, a new early Miocene small-mammal locality from the Vallès-Penedès Basin (Catalonia, Spain)
The Valles-Penedes Basin (Catalonia, Spain) is classical area for the study of Miocene land mammal faunas. Nevertheless, the early Miocene part of the record has deserved little attention as compared to younger intervals. Most notably, the small mammals of this age have not been described in detail, consequently hampering the correlation of the Valles-Penedes record with other chronological schemes. In this work we describe the rich and diverse small mammal fauna from Les Cases de la Valenciana site (Gelida, Alt Penedès) which includes marsupials, eulipotyphlans, lagomorphs and rodents. On the basis of the presence of the cricetids Megacricetodon and Democricetodon this site is correlated with European Neogene zone MN4, yielding an age of 17–16 Ma. However, the rodent assemblage is comparable to that of chronologically close localities of the Calatayud-Montalbán Basin (Aragon, Spain), indicating that the same biochronological scheme can be applied to both areas. In this way, the coexistence of the eomyids Ligerimys ellipticus and Ligerimys florancei coupled with the presence of Megacricetodon primitivus indicates a correlation with local biozone Ca of the Calatayud-Montalban Basin, ranging from 16.3 to 16 Ma. Finally, the correlation of other early Miocene sites of the Valles-Penedes Basin is discussed and refined.