The wolf from Grotta Romanelli: New insights from brain morphology


Alfio Moscarella, Alessio Iannucci, Dawid Adam Iurino, Beniamino Mecozzi & Raffaele Sardella

PaleoFactory Laboratory, Department of Earth Science, Sapienza, University of Rome, P.le Aldo Moro 5, 00185, Rome, Italy.

A. Moscarella:

A. Iannucci:   

D. A. Iurino:

B. Mecozzi:  

R. Sardella:


How to cite: Moscarella et al. (2020). The wolf from Grotta Romanelli: New insights from brain morphology. Fossilia, Volume 2020: 45-46.

Bullet-Points Abstract
  • The wolf from Grotta Romanelli was initially referred to Canis aureus, subsequently to C. mosbachensis or C. lupus by other authors.
  • Sardella et al. (2014) attributed it to C. lupus.
  • A detailed neuroanatomical analysis confirmed this attribution and provide new insights on brain anatomy and phylogeny.

Keywords: Grotta Romanelli; Canis lupus; Brain anatomy.


Fig. 1. A-E. Cranial endocasts of: A, Canis lupus italicus; B, Canis from Grotta Romanelli; C, Canis latrans; D, Canis mesomelas; E, Canis aureus. F-G. Graphics of Surface/ Volume ratio and Prorean Gyrus volume/ Brain volume index. Principal sulci in the rostral region: Prs: prorean sulcus; Ths: third groove; Ios: intraorbital sulcus. Principal gyri: Prg: proreal gyrus; Org: orbital gyrus

Cited References

  • Blanc G.A. (1928). Grotta Romanelli II. Dati ecologici e paleontologici. Archivio per l’Archeologia e l’Etnologia, 58: 1–50.
  • Caloi L. & Palombo M.R. (1998). Complessi faunistici e variazioni ambientali nel Villafranchianio-Aureliano medio dell’Italia centrale. Biogeographia, 19: 27-34.
  • Lyras G.A. (2009). The evolution of the brain in Canidae (Mammalia: Carnivora). Scripta Geologica, 139: 1–93.
  • Radinsky L. (1973). Evolution of the Canid Brain. Brain, Behavior and Evolution, 7: 169–202. 
  • Sardella R., Palombo M.R., Petronio C., Benedetti C. & Pavia M. (2006). The early Middle Pleistocene large mammal faunas of Italy: an overview. Quaternary International, 149: 104–109. 
  • Sardella R., Bertè D., Iurino D. A., Cherin M. & Tagliacozzo A. (2014). The wolf from Grotta Romanelli (Apulia, Italy) and its implications in the evolutionary history of Canis lupus in the Late Pleistocene of Southern Italy. Quaternary International, 328-329:179–195.