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Taphonomy of the reference Miocene vertebrate mammal site of Cerro de la Garita, Spain

Autor Pesquero, María Dolores ; Alcalá, Luis; Fernández-Jalvo, Yolanda
Fecha de publicación 2013
EditorJohn Wiley & Sons
Citación Lethaia 46: 378-398 (2013)
ResumenThis article reports a detailed taphonomic study of the reference Miocene vertebrate site of Cerro de la Garita, (Concud, Teruel, Spain). The sedimentary record of the site indicates that it was a palaeo-lakeshore, and this conclusion is supported by aquatic environment-related taphonomic modifications of its fossils (both on their surfaces and internally). The site provided a water source that appears to have been regularly visited by herbivores. It was, therefore, also likely to have been a good feeding ground for predators and scavengers. Hyaena coprolites have been found at the site, and tooth marks were identified on some fossil bone surfaces. Bone fragments 2-5 cm in length showed clear evidence of heavy digestion and probable regurgitation. Abundant trampling marks were seen on the surface of many of the fossil bones, traits that are congruent with a damp lakeshore environment. Most of the remains were broken, and only a few anatomical elements belonging to the same individual were found close together, although never articulated (i.e. in a manner reflecting their anatomical connections). The fossils showed no signs of selection (either by shape or size) or abrasion, although a certain re-orientation suggests the influence of wave or strand line activity. Despite being an open-air site, none of the fossils appeared to be weathered, further suggesting that the surrounding environment was a damp lakeshore probably shaded by vegetation. Indeed, abundant signs of root activity were observed. No evidence of reworking, that is, post-burial disturbance or diachronic mixing of fossils, was seen, confirming the international value of Cerro de la Garita as a reference site for continental Miocene mammal assemblages. © 2013 The Lethaia Foundation.
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10261/126425
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1111/let.12016
issn: 0024-1164
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