A palaeoecological and palaeoclimatic study was conducted on the fossil content of Last Interglacial calcarenites (MIS 5e) in the Taranto gulf. Three bulk samples returned a rich mollusc fauna consisting of: 120 extant Mediterranean species, including 4 species that live in the tropical west Africa province (Senegalese Fauna) while they are absent from the modern Mediterranean fauna. The molluscan assemblage indicates an infralittoral soft vegetated setting characterized by lateral variations from more exposed to sheltered areas, and a climatic affinity showing similar proportions between warm and cold affinity species. The lack of a marked warm affinity character may indicate a cooler than expected palaeoclimate during the MIS 5e in the Ionian Sea, in contrast with what can be inferred from the occurrence of Senegalese species and, in particular, of Thetystrombus latus thermal constraints.
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