New 14C data of megafaunal remains from Lithuania – implications for the palaeoenvironmental interpretation of the Middle Weichselian

Jonas Satkūnas, Algirdas Girininkas, Tomas Rimkus, Linas Daugnora, Alma Grigienė, Miglė Stančikaitė, Gvidas Slah, Žana Skuratovič, Domas Uogintas, Vladas Žulkus


Palaeobiological data, supplemented by new 14C dates in conjunction with palaeobotanical and lithological information, have allowed reconstruction of Middle Weichselian (MIS 3) environmental fluctuations in the southern Eastern Baltic region. Palaeoenvironmental reconstructions implying non-glacial conditions during the Middle Weichselian (MIS 3) are supported by the spatial and temporal context of recently discovered remains of Mammuthus primigenius Blumenbach and Rangifer tarandus Linnaeus, 1758. Recording both cold and warm climatic reversals of MIS 3, representatives of the megafauna thrived in an environment characterized by a heterogeneity of vegetation and climate. 14C dating shows that the majority of the megafaunal remains analysed represent the 38–45 cal kyr BP time-interval, which correlates with the Nemunas 2c cold interval (cryomer), and the 31–34 cal kyr BP or Mickñnai 3 thermomer. From pollen data, the palaeovegetation pattern varied from tree-less tundra to birch-predominating forest with an admixture of temporal tree species providing additional information about the diet and habitat preferences of these herbivores in the context of the MIS 3 climatic events.



Mammuthus primigenius Blumenbach; Rangifer tarandus Linnaeus, 1758; 14C; environmental dynamics; Middle Weichselian; Lithuania

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