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Title: Taphonomic Criteria for Identifying Iberian Lynx Dens in Quaternary Deposits
Author: Rodríguez Hidalgo, Antonio
Sanz Borràs, Montserrat
Daura Luján, Joan
Sánchez Marco, Antonio
Keywords: Lepòrids
Excavacions arqueològiques
Linx ibèric
Archaeological excavations
Spanish lynx
Issue Date: 29-Apr-2020
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Abstract: For decades, taphonomists have dedicated their efforts to assessing the nature of the massive leporid accumulations recovered at archaeological sites in the northwestern Mediterranean region. Their interest lying in the fact that the European rabbit constituted a critical part of human subsistence during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene. However, rabbits are also a key prey in the food webs of Mediterranean ecosystems and the base of the diet for several specialist predators, including the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus). For this reason, the origin of rabbit accumulations in northwestern Mediterranean sites has proved a veritable conundrum. Here, we present the zooarchaeological and taphonomic study of more than 3000 faunal and 140 coprolite remains recovered in layer IIIa of Cova del Gegant (Catalonia, Spain). Our analysis indicates that this layer served primarily as a den for the Iberian lynx. The lynxes modified and accumulated rabbit remains and also died at the site creating an accumulation dominated by the two taxa. However, other agents and processes, including human, intervened in the final configuration of the assemblage. Our study contributes to characterizing the Iberian lynx fossil accumulation differentiating between the faunal assemblages accumulated by lynxes and hominins.
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It is part of: Scientific Reports, 2020, vol. 10, num. 1, p. 7225
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ISSN: 2045-2322
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Història i Arqueologia)

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