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Title: Investigating dietary habits by stable isotope analyses (δ13C and δ15N) in bone collagen of cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) in southern latitudes of Europe during Late Pleistocene: the case of Toll Cave (MIS 3; Spain)
Authors: Ramírez-Pedraza, Iván
Tornero Dacasa, Carlos
Blasco, Ruth
Rivals, Florent
Rosell, Jordi
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: University of Oxford
Citation: 7th International Symposium on Biomolecular Archaeology, 2016, p. 51
Abstract: Dietary habits of the extinct Ursus spelaeus have been always a controversial topic in paleontological studies. Previous studies measuring bone collagen carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope values of Late Pleistocene European cave bears during MIS3 show usually lower positions in the tropic chain, similar or lower to those of pure herbivores. That suggests an unusual physiology conditions related to hibernation or a pure non-protein herbivorous diet, although a major number samples is desirable. In this work we investigate carbon and nitrogen values in collagen of Ursus spelaeus recovered in Level 4 (dated to 57.9 and 69.8 ka BP) from the Toll Cave (Moià, Catalonia, NE Iberian Peninsula). A total of 12 cave bear specimens were analyzed together with a representation of the whole contemporaneous fauna spectrum recovered in the same level. Specimens were individualized considering taxonomical identification by osteological criteria, bilateral symmetry and osteometric measures. Preservation and quality of extracted collagen was checked ensuring reliability of isotopic measures. Preliminary results show lower values (δ13C & δ15N) in cave bear than in pure herbivores (i.e. Cervus elaphus), all recovered from same levels of Toll Cave. This data is discussed in the frame of work of all available data in Europe and add new information about dietary habits of this species at southern latitudes of Europe during late Pleistocene periods.
Type: Presentation
Appears in Collections:Congresos, encuentros científicos y estancias de investigación

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