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Title: Microwear and isotopic analyses on cave bear remains from Toll Cave reveal both short-term and long-term dietary habits
Authors: Ramírez-Pedraza, Iván
Tornero Dacasa, Carlos
Pappa, Spyridoula
Talamo, Sahra
Salazar García, Domingo Carlos
Blasco, Ruth
Rosell, Jordi
Rivals, Florent
Keywords: Evolutionary ecology;Palaeoecology;Palaeontology
Issue Date: Apr-2019
Publisher: Nature Research
Citation: Scientific Reports, 2019, 9 (1): 5716
Abstract: Dietary habits of the extinct Ursus spelaeus have always been a controversial topic in paleontological studies. In this work, we investigate carbon and nitrogen values in the bone collagen and dental microwear of U. spelaeus specimens recovered in Level 4 from Toll Cave (Moià, Catalonia, NE Iberian Peninsula). These remains have been dated to > 49,000 14C BP. The ability of both proxies to provide data on the diet of U. spelaeus at different times in the life-history (isotopes: average diet of life; microwear: last days/weeks before death), allows us to generate high-resolution and complementary data. Our results show lower values (δ13C & δ15N) in cave bears than in strict herbivores (i.e. Cervus elaphus) recovered from the same level of Toll Cave. On the other hand, 12 lower molars (m1) were analysed through low-magnification microwear technique. The cave bears from Toll Cave show a microwear pattern like that of extant bears with omnivorous and carnivorous diets. These data are discussed in the framework of all available data in Europe and add new information about the plasticity of the dietary habits of this species at the southern latitudes of Europe during Late Pleistocene periods.
ISSN: 2045-2322
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-42152-7
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Arqueología

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