On the first occurrence of the common weasel (Mustela nivalis) in the fossil record of Israel

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Abstract

The first occurrences of the common weasel (Mustela nivalis) in the fossil record of Israel are here described. The common weasel does not exist in Israel at present and the Egyptian population is generally considered a Roman introduction. We suggest that during a cooler phase in the Pleistocene, the weasel shifted its distribution southwards into Israel and perhaps along the Mediterranean coast into Egypt, where it remains a glacial relict to this day. The large body size of the south-western races of this species, including the fossil Israeli population, may result from character release in the absence of larger congeners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-168
Number of pages4
JournalMammalia
Volume52
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1988

Funding

FundersFunder number
British Council

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