Muroid rodents of the genus Apodemus rank among the dominant elements of European mammalian communities, and present a model subject of numerous zoological studies. In the European fossil record genus Apodemus presents an index element of the interglacial communities. Yet, due to more reasons, its fossil records has not been properly evaluated and direct data on range history of particular species of the genus and dynamics of their occurrence in central Europe are largely missing. The aim of the project is to fill the gap. The project proposes a physical revision of existing fossil material of the genus from the Pliocene and Quaternary assemblages of Central Europe. The detailed analysis of phenotypic variation with aid of quantitative techniques of metric and non-metric characters and geometric morphometrics are expected to reveal reliable information on species composition of particular fossil assemblages and range history of particular species throughout the Late Cenozoic period, apart of refining the criteria of discrimination of particular species in the fragmentary fossil records. The outputs of the project address thus various topics of biostratigraphy, paleoecology and historical biogeography of the European mammalian communities.
Vertebrate Zoology Research Group
Department of Zoology
Faculty of Science
Charles University in Prague
128 44 Prague