Hohenhowen (Miocene of Germany)

Also known as Hohenheven

Where: Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany (47.8° N, 8.7° E: paleocoordinates 48.1° N, 7.4° E)

• coordinate based on nearby landmark

When: MN8 mammal zone, Middle Miocene (16.0 - 11.6 Ma)

• both radiometric dating and mammalian biochronology support an absolute age of the Hohenhowen fossils of about 13 Ma (MN8, middle Miocene).

Environment/lithology: terrestrial; gypsum

• Testudo antiqua appears to have been part of a vibrant ecosystem evidenced by diverse terrestrial gastropods (Seemann, 1930) and fragmentary postcranial remains of carnivorans, elephants, horses, deer, and pikas (Stehlin, 1926, Tobien, 1957).
• The top of this hill is comprised of a basalt chimney, which penetrates the 250 m thick Jungerer Juranagelfluh (JJ) unit (Fig. 1.2; Schreiner, 1992). The JJ unit is a clayey to silty marl containing pebbles of Mesozoic limestones, sandstones, and the Variscan basement. It is part of the Upper Freshwater Molasse along the northern margin of the western North Alpine Foreland Basin and is interpreted as the erosional detritus deposited into alluvial fans by the rising Black Forest Mountains (Schreiner, 1992). Toward the top of the JJ at Hohenhowen, beds of massive pedogenic gypsum have yielded pockets of fossil vertebrates (according to Walchner, 1851, p. 983, shells of 10 to 12 Testudo antiqua individuals were found in close proximity). The gypsum beds are overlain on the southwest flank of Hohenhowen at 730 m by 10 m volcanic tuffs (Fig. 1.2), which, according to Schreiner (1992), can be correlated with the Deckentuff (700 m) at the nearby Hohenstoffeln locality. The latter tuff has been dated by K-Ar method to 12.5 Ma (sanidine; Lippoldt et al., 1963) and to 12.8–13.0 Ma (hornblende; Schreiner, 1966, 1983).

Size class: macrofossils

Collection methods: quarrying,

• FFSM, Furstlich Furstenbergisches Sammlung Donaueschingen, Donaueschingen, Germany; MT, Museum de Toulouse, Toulouse, France; SMF, Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum Senckenberg, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; SMNS, Staatliches Museum fu¨r Naturkunde Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany; UFGC, University of Freiburg, Geological Collections, Freiburg, Germany.

•It is worth noting that the authors revisited Hohenhowen several times and were unable to relocate the original quarry, which appears to have been covered by more recent landslides and is now overgrown by forest. This is a poignant reminder that fossil localities do not necessarily last forever.

Primary reference: J. A. Corsini, M. Bohme, and W. J. Joyce. 2014. Reappraisal of Testudo antiqua (Testudines, Testudinidae) from the Miocene of Hohenhöwen, Germany. Journal of Paleontology 88(5):948-966 [E. Vlachos/E. Vlachos]more details

Purpose of describing collection: taxonomic analysis

PaleoDB collection 190754: authorized by Evangelos Vlachos, entered by Evangelos Vlachos on 16.12.2017

Creative Commons license: CC BY (attribution)

Taxonomic list

 Testudines - Pantestudinidae
Testudo antiqua n. sp. Bronn 1831 turtle
 Perissodactyla - Equidae
Anchitherium aurelianense Cuvier 1825 anchitheriine horse
 Proboscidea - Gomphotheriidae
Gomphotherium sp. Burmeister 1837 gomphothere
 Ungulata - Cervidae
 Ungulata - Moschidae