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Taphonomic study of leporid remains accumulated by the Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti)

AuthorsLloveras, Lluís; Moreno García, Marta ; Nadal, Jordi
Leporid remains
Aquila adalberti
Diurnal raptors
Issue Date2008
CitationGeobios 41(1): 91-100 (2008)
AbstractDistinguishing leporid bones accumulated by different agents such as diurnal raptors, owls, mammals and humans is essential to gain an understanding of not only human subsistence activities but also past ecology. This is particularly relevant in Iberian Palaeolithic sites where leporid remains usually constitute the most abundant taxon. Among diurnal raptors the Spanish Imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti) has been one of the most important leporid predators throughout the Iberian Peninsula. In order to investigate the taphonomic signature of this raptor, rabbit remains from 79 pellets were examined. Results show a high proportion of distal elements of the limb bones and skull. Compared with other diurnal birds of prey, the assemblages produced by this species appear to show a higher degree of breakage and corrosion from digestion. These results place this predator within a category similar to the small mammal carnivores (category 5) in terms of skeletal element abundance, breakage and digestion. It is hoped that these data will enable analysts to identify leporid fossils accumulated by the Spanish Imperial Eagle in archaeological assemblages.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geobios.2006.11.009
Appears in Collections:(CCHS-IH) Artículos
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