The MN System: Regional or Continental?

John Alroy*, Raymond L. Bernor, Mikael Fortelius, Lars Werdelin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we apply disjunct distribution ordination (DDO) to a large set of Miocene to Pleistocene mammal localities from western Eurasia. This multivariate method creates a sequence of taxonomic first and last appearance events that minimizes the number of age-range overlaps. Our aim is to compare the event sequence with the existing Eurasian MN system of mammalian biochronology. Our results show that: 1) the sequence and the MN system ordination of localities are highly correlated; 2) a combined data set of western and eastern localities performs better in this regard than either data set separately; 3) most disagreements between the methods involve faunal lists of inadequate length. These results confirm that the current MN system is robust and suggest that it can be usefully extended to encompass all of Eurasia. Specifically, we expect Eurasian mammal biochronology to be refined through the use of algorithmic techniques such as DDO, which are likely to provide objectivity and quantification without generating unpredictable results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-258
Number of pages16
JournalMitteilungen der Bayerischen Staatssammlung fur Palaontologie und Historische Geologie
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


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