Turkey is known for the wealth of fossil suids found in deposits of middle Miocene, late Miocene and Plio-Pleistocene levels but material of this family from early Miocene and Palaeogene deposits is rare in the country, one of the few published occurrences being from Şemsettin (Kumartaş Formation, MN 4, Çankiri-Çorum Basin). For this reason, it is interesting to record the presence of small suid remains in the Soma Formation at Sabuncubeli (Manisa, SW Anatolia) in deposits correlated to MN 3 (early Miocene) and thus the earliest known Turkish members of the family. The upper and lower teeth are herein attributed to a new genus and species (Prolistriodon smyrnensis) of Listriodontinae because, in a nascent way, they show a suite of derived morphological features such as upper central incisors with apical sulci, and upper molars with lingual precrista, found in listriodonts but not in Kubanochoerinae, Palaeochoerinae, Tetracondontinae, Hyotheriinae, Namachoerinae, Cainochoerinae or Suinae.
Key wordsSuidae, Turkey, early Miocene, Artiodactyla, Listriodontinae, Prolistriodon smyrnensis gen. et sp. nov., derived characters, folivory, omnivory
The late middle Miocene (MN 8) sediments at Nebisuyu, in the southwestern extremity of the Gelibolu Peninsula, Turkey, yielded remains of a large individual of Listriodon splendens: a skull lacking the premaxillae but containing both cheek tooth rows, and a detached left maxilla fragment containing a canine. The material evidently represents a male individual on the basis of the large dimensions of the canine, an inference borne out by the presence of a horn-like protuberance on the thickened frontal bones. The dentition is typical of the large “subspecies” Listriodon splendens major Roman, 1907. The presence of an ossicone suggests that head-to-head combat was an aspect of the behaviour of Listriodon, just as it is in several extant suid taxa. The Nebisuyu discovery extends the geographic distribution of the subspecies well to the east of its previously known range.