New insights into the historical translocation of the Algerian hedgehog and pine marten throughout the Balearic Islands (Western Mediterranean): refining the radiocarbon-based chronology

A. Valenzuela*, R. M. Martínez-Sánchez, J. García, J. A. Alcover

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this paper, we refine the colonisation timeframe of pine marten (Martes martes) and Algerian hedgehog (Atelerix algirus) to the Balearic Islands synthesising their occurrence records and providing an accurate chronology through new directly 14C dated archaeological bone samples. The new dates are significantly earlier than previously reported finds; therefore, both cases currently represent the earliest records for the human-mediated translocation of these species in Europe. These new data not only provide further accurate resolution for previous historical translocation hypothesis but also expand the geographical scope throughout the archipelago. The sequence and timing of introduction events are embedded in different historical timeframes. The time of arrival of the pine marten is now established in the early Roman period, a period that supported a huge wave of introduced alien species into the Balearics. For the Algerian hedgehog, the new records further support the hypothesis that the Almohads were responsible for its introduction to these islands. Both examples illustrate how important it is to connect past translocation records to tighter radiometric chronologies through direct dating on bones of the implicated species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-71
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Zoology
Volume316
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Journal of Zoology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Zoological Society of London

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