The ‘return’ of the hazel dormouse to the Iberian Peninsula

From the east of France all the way to Russia, the hazel dormouse now inhabits practically the whole of Europe. However, on the Iberian Peninsula it is absent where its first remains were found, which date from the Miocene, between 23 and 5 million years ago. After spreading to other parts of Europe, it was no longer found in the peninsular fossil register since the start of the Pliocene (at least 4.5 million years ago.) Yet on the Gipuzkoan site of Lezetxiki (Arrasate-Mondragon), UPV/EHU researchers have found remains of the Muscardinus avellanarius from the Upper Pleistocene (between 125,000 and 10,000 years ago). The discovery has been published in the prestigious journal Quaternary Science Reviews. —> Read More