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Rodents of the early Miocene locality of Beydere New

The fossil molars of micromammals are excellent tools for determining the age of Neogene localities and reconstructing the environments of the past. As such, they can be used to reconstruct the changes in ecosystems over time in response to global and regional climate changes. Naturalis works together with several other institutions to reconstruct the changes in the ecosystems of the early Miocene of western Europe. This is a period of major changes, as in the later part of the early Miocene Africa collides with Eurasia, forming the Mediterranean Sea.


The rodents of the early Miocene locality of Beydere New (Manisa, Anatolia)

MSc subject (also available for highly motivated BSc students)



The project focuses on a locality discovered during a National Geographic Expedition in 2015. Beydere New is one of the richest localities from the early Miocene of western Anatolia. As is common, the fauna is dominated by hamsters. In order to determine the relative age of the locality, the taxonomy and evolutionary patterns of the hamsters need to be elaborated. Based on the comparison of the composition of the fauna with those in literature, changes in the palaeoenvironment can be reconstructed.



The fossil molars need to be sorted under the microscope, mounted on plasticine and numbered. They will be measured with a measuring microscope. Each element of the various needs to be described in a way that the morphological variation is captured. For the report, SEM photographs need to be made of representative specimens. The project will involve a large amount of work behind the stereo microscope.



The study of the fauna is part of the PhD thesis of Melike Bilgin, which covers the early Miocene rodents of western Anatolia. Provided the report is of sufficient quality, the student will be co-author of the paper dealing with Beydere New.



Daily supervision will given by Melike Bilgin. In her absence, the daily supervision will be taken over by the responsible supervisor, Lars van den Hoek Ostende.


For more information, email to Lars van den Hoek Ostende.