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Isotopic analysis of the ecology of herbivores and carnivores from the Middle Pleistocene deposits of the Sierra De Atapuerca, northern Spain

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García García, Nuria y Feranec, R.S. y Arsuaga, Juan Luis y Bermúdez de Castro, José María y Carbonell i Roura, Eudald (2009) Isotopic analysis of the ecology of herbivores and carnivores from the Middle Pleistocene deposits of the Sierra De Atapuerca, northern Spain. Journal of archaeological science, 36 . pp. 1142-1151. ISSN 0305-4403

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URL Oficial: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jas



Resumen

Carbon and oxygen isotope values reveal resource partitioning among the large mammal fauna from
three contemporaneous Middle Pleistocene hominid-bearing localities within the Sierra de Atapuerca
(northern Spain). Carbon isotope values sampled from the tooth enamel of fauna present during Atapuerca
Faunal Unit 6 show that a C3-dominated ecosystem surrounded the area where fossils were
preserved during this time. For the herbivores, Fallow deer isotope values are significantly different from
Red deer and horses and show that this species did not forage in open environments at this locality. Red
deer and horses show similar feeding strategies with less negative carbon values implying use of more
open environments for these taxa. For the carnivores, carbon isotope values for Ursus deningeri are
significantly different from either lions (Panthera leo) or foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and support the contention
that this species is herbivorous. Special metabolic mechanisms involved in hibernation in U. deningeri
might also have influenced its isotope values. The carbon isotope values of remaining carnivores were
similar and suggest that each was typically a generalist carnivore, eating a wide variety of prey items.
While the isotopic results generally correspond to ecology indicated by previous techniques, this study
shows that isotope analyses can provide further insights that alternate techniques do not provide.
Isotope analyses can help elucidate the ancient ecology of taxa present in the Sierra de Atapuerca during
the Middle Pleistocene allowing for an accurate portrayal of the setting in which humans lived.


Tipo de documento:Artículo
Palabras clave:C-13, Diet, Ecology, Enamel, Mammal, O-18, Pleistocene
Materias:Ciencias > Geología > Paleontología
Código ID:27149
Depositado:20 Oct 2014 12:21
Última Modificación:11 Dic 2018 08:42

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