Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12136/594
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Title: Contributing to characterise wild predator behaviour: consumption pattern, spatial distribution and bone damage on ungulate carcasses consumed by red fox (Vulpes vulpes)
Authors: Arilla Osuna, Maite
Rosell, Jordi
Blasco, Ruth
Keywords: Taphonomy;Actualism;Animal behaviour;Vulpes vulpes
Issue Date: May-2019
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 2019, 11 (5), 2271-2291
Abstract: Neo-taphonomic studies of carnivores are commonly used to explain the formation processes of Pleistocene faunal assemblages. However, these works have been developed mostly with large carnivores—e.g. hyenas. On the contrary, small and medium-sized carnivores have been scarcely studied in spite of their presence in most of the archaeological sites. Here, we present a study trying to characterise the wild predator behaviour from a taphonomic perspective, describing consumption patterns on 23 small-sized ungulate carcasses eaten by red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) during a 2-year period in the Spanish Pyrenees. The aim of this work, therefore, is to characterise taphonomically this predator and to obtain data to distinguish them from other most common carnivores. For that, a combination of observational data from photo/video-trap and taphonomic analyses was compiled, allowing us to control variables like seasonality and time of consumption, as well as the spatial dispersion of skeletal remains. The initial interest by foxes lies in the disassembly of the anatomical elements and their transport to secluded places giving rise to dispersion of bones. Regarding to seasonality, bone modification increases at the end of winter/spring time, and proportionally, the time of consumption decreases. When the carcass is complete, viscera seem to be an important resource, followed by meat covering femur and humerus. This phenomenon causes significant damage on axial bones (mainly fractures and tooth marks), and to a lesser extent, on pelvis and proximal stylopodials.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12136/594
ISSN: 1866-9557
1866-9565
DOI: 10.1007/s12520-018-0675-x
metadata.dc.relation.publisherversion: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-018-0675-x
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Arqueología



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