Loretello Cave near Venosa (Pliocene to of Italy)

Also known as Grotta di Loratello presso Venosa

Where: Basilicata, Italy (41.0° N, 15.8° E: paleocoordinates 40.9° N, 15.8° E)

• coordinate based on nearby landmark

• outcrop-level geographic resolution

When: Piacenzian to Piacenzian (3.6 - 0.8 Ma)

• Geologic section of "Terranera".

•Based on comparison of the vertebrate fossils with counterparts in Europe, the small fauna of Loretello, shows affinities to the lower layers of the grotta del Principe a Grimaldi, as also with those of Leffe river basin of the Arno. (Some taxa correspond with late Pliocene forms, but most are comparable to taxa from the lower Pleistocene.)

• bed-level stratigraphic resolution

Environment/lithology: lacustrine; pebbly, volcaniclastic, shelly/skeletal, black, conglomeratic sandstone

• sequence is of a river bottom, (a) calcareous lakes with small gastropods, (b)dark yellow tuff has rare fragments of shells, vegetation, and scarce eruptive material, (c) = the fossil layer: sedimentation consisting of sandstones and conglomerates with volcaniclastics (composed of tuffs and ash) and bone breccia layer with fossils described in D'Erasmo (1933), then (d) grey marly sandstone rich with volcanic material prevalent "augitico".
• "Polygenic" sandstone, with much eruptive material (especially abundant with crystals of black "augite" from the Vulture, a volcano to the southwest), some limestone and marly pebbles in a conglomerate or breccia ("brecciolina"), a true mammal bone rubble layer of generally a few decimeters is the one that supplies the vertebrate fossils in this article (preliminarily studied and reported on by Prof. Rellini of the University of Rome). Calls it a pavement in some places.

Size class: macrofossils

Collection methods: Museo Geo-paleontologico di Napoli

Primary reference: G. D'Erasmo. 1933. La fauna della grotta di Loretello presso Venosa. Societa Nazionale di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti 19(4):1-18 [J. Alroy/R. Whatley/M. Carrano]more details

Purpose of describing collection: taxonomic analysis

PaleoDB collection 38087: authorized by John Alroy, entered by Robin Whatley on 10.04.2004

Creative Commons license: CC BY (attribution)

Taxonomic list

• ?Overlying calcareous lake sediment (a) has small gastropods, (b)dark yellow tuff has rare fragments of shells, vegetation, and scarce eruptive material, (c) is the layer containing the fossils described in D'Erasmo 1933.
 Perissodactyla - Rhinocerotidae
"Rhinoceros mercki" = Dihoplus kirchbergensis
"Rhinoceros mercki" = Dihoplus kirchbergensis Jäger 1839 rhinoceros
authority is Kaup, Tav. III, fig. 37. in D'Erasmo 1933. One tooth.
 Perissodactyla - Equidae
Equus cf. stenonis Cocchi 1867 horse
Authority is Cocchi. re-id of "(=Equus intermedius Boule)", Tav. I, fig. 1-3 in D'Erasmo 1933. Two teeth.
Equus caballus Linnaeus 1758 horse
Authority is Linneas, Tav. I, fig. 1, 2 in D'Erasmo 1933.
 Carnivora - Ursidae
Ursus spelaeus Rosenmüller 1794 cave bear
Authority Blum and "Rosenm." Tav. I, fig. 7, 8 in D'Erasmo 1933. Mandible fragment with tooth.
 Artiodactyla - Cervidae
Cervus cornaliai n. sp. D'Erasmo 1933 deer
Re-id of "(=Cervus affinis Cornalia 1858-1871, non Hodgson 1841, nec Pucheran 1849)". Tav. II, fig. 1-5 and Tav. III, fig. 1-36. Many bones, including teeth, astragalus, phalanges, long bone fragments.
Cervus elaphus Linnaeus 1758 red deer
Authority is Linneas, Tav. I, fig. 9, 10 in D'Erasmo 1933. Fragments of bone and teeth.
Capreolus capreolus Linnaeus 1758 European roe deer
Authority is Linneas. Rare teeth.