THE TURTLES FROM THE UPPER VALLESIAN OF CERRO DE LOS BATALLONES (MADRID, SPAIN): NEW DATA ON THE POORLY KNOWN GENUS PALEOTESTUDO. The Vallesian fossil sites of Cerro de los Batallones (Madrid, Spain) are relevant in the European record both because of the diversity recorded and the preservation of its fossils. Although the most abundant record of these sites corresponds to mammals, especially carnivores, other vertebrates have also been identified. Turtles are the best represented lineage of reptiles, but this group has not been studied. The analysis of the currently available material allows the identification of three taxa. One of them corresponds likely to a freshwater testudinid, that could belong to a member of the “Palaeochelys sensu lato-Mauremys” group. The other two are attributed to terrestrial testudinids, being the largest compatible with the Spanish Miocene specimens assigned to Cheirogaster. The other, represented by several well-preserved shells, is identified as a member of Paleotestudo. The presence of Paleotestudo had not been, so far, confirmed in the Iberian Peninsula. The review of the Spanish record allows us identifying this genus in all the Aragonian and Vallesian biozones. The validity of several Iberian taxa is refuted, and both the stratigraphie and paleobiogeographic distributions of this genus are extended.
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Vol. 50 • No. 3