Faunal remains from Borsuka Cave – an example of local climate variability during Late Pleistocene in southern Poland


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Acta Zoologica Cracoviensia

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The Borsuka Cave is located in the southern part of Kraków-Częstochowa Upland, about 20 km west of Kraków. During excavations conducted in 2008-2010 a very rare and interesting faunal assemblage from layer VI was found, dating to the Upper Pleniglacial. Among cold steppe-tundra or taiga species such as Rangifer tarandus, Vulpes alopex, Equus sp. or Coelodonta antiquitatis taxa adapted to forest environment were also found. Associated with them we found snails, such as Ena montana, Aegopinella pura and Perforatella incarnata; insectivores, like Sorex araneus, carnivores, such as Martes martes, Meles meles and Lynx cf. lynx; ungulates, like Alces alces and Bos primigenius and, among rodents, Clethrionomys glareolus, Apodemus sylvaticus/flavicollis and Castor fiber. This assemblage is the first from southern Poland during this time period to comprise such relatively rich material, and indicates the presence of forest adapted species at the end of the Upper Plenivistulian. No similar assemblages are known from other caves from the Kraków-Czêstochowa Upland, and this suggests that during Late Pleistocene in a limited area of Poland, short episodes of forest formations could appear.

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