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Title

Origin of an Assemblage Massively Dominated by Carnivorans from the Miocene of Spain

AuthorsDomingo, M. Soledad; Alberdi, María Teresa ; Azanza, Beatriz; Silva, Pablo G.; Morales, Jorge
Issue Date2013
PublisherPublic Library of Science
CitationPLoS ONE 8(5): e63046 (2013)
AbstractCarnivoran-dominated fossil sites provide precious insights into the diversity and ecology of species rarely recovered in the fossil record. The lower level assemblage of Batallones-1 fossil site (Late Miocene; Madrid Basin, Spain) has yielded one of the most abundant and diversified carnivoran assemblage ever known from the Cenozoic record of mammals. A comprehensive taphonomic study is carried out here in order to constrain the concentration mode of this remarkable assemblage. Another distinctive feature of Batallones-1 is that the accumulation of carnivoran remains took place in the context of a geomorphological landform (cavity formation through a piping process) practically unknown in the generation of fossil sites. Two characteristics of the assemblage highly restrict the probable causes for the accumulation of the remains: (1) the overwhelming number of carnivorans individuals; and (2) the mortality profiles estimated for the four most abundant taxa do not correspond to the classic mortality types but rather were the consequence of the behavior of the taxa. This evidence together with other taphonomic data supports the hypothesis that carnivoran individuals actively entered the cavity searching for resources (food or water) and were unable to exit. The scarcity of herbivores implies that the shaft was well visible and avoided by these taxa. Fossil bones exhibit a very good preservation state as a consequence of their deposition in the restricted and protective environment of the chamber. Batallones-1 had another assemblage (upper level assemblage) that was dominated by herbivore remains and that potentially corresponded to the final stages of the cavity filling.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0063046
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/114681
DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0063046
E-ISSN1932-6203
Appears in Collections:(MNCN) Artículos
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