Late Pleistocene (Eemian) mollusk and small mammal fauna from Mikhailovka-5 (Kursk oblast, Central Russia)


The locality Mikhailovka-5 is situated in the northern part of the Mikhailovka quarry in the northwest of the Kursk Oblast in central Russia. A rich mollusk fauna was collected along with small mammal remains from this lacustrine deposit located between Likhvinian (= Holsteinian) fossil soils and Valdayian (= Weichselian) periglacial deposits. The small mammal fauna is diverse, and includes numerous rodents, e.g., such indicative taxa as Arvicola ex gr. sapidus and Microtus ex gr. agrestis, a significant number of Clethrionomys glareolus and various insectivores. This assemblage closely corresponds to other Mikulino (= Eemian) faunas from the Russian Plain. The mollusk fauna includes a large number of terrestrial species, some of which have currently a more southern and western distribution. Both the molluskan and mammal faunas from Mikhailovka-5 indicate temperate climatic conditions, as evidenced by the diversity of insectivores, particularly the moles. Abundant remains of rodents of the genera Clethrionomys, Apodemus, and Microtus (Terricola) and of mollusks such as Acme, Macrogastra, Ruthenica, Punctum, and Acanthinula indicate the presence of extensive woodlands of mixed or broadleaf type, which were typical for this latitude during the Eemian interglacial. The palaeontological data provided in this paper, confirm that Mikhailovka-5 belongs to the Mikulino interglacial, as previously suggested by pedological arguments.

Key words

Russia, Late Pleistocene, Mikulino, Eemian, mollusks, small mammals