Hominins, mammoths, saber-tooths and giant hyenas in the Early Pleistocene of the Baza Basin (SE Spain)

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URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10900/114226
http://dx.doi.org/10.15496/publikation-55601
http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:21-dspace-1142260
Dokumentart: Buch (einzelnes Kapitel)
Date: 2021-04-14
Source: Tuebingen Paleoanthropology Book Series – Contributions in Paleoanthropology Band 1: Human-elephant interactions: from past to present
Language: English
Faculty: Tuebingen Paleoanthropology Book Series – Contributions in Paleoanthropology Band 1: Human-elephant interactions: from past to present
Other Keywords: Orce
Barranco León
Fuente Nueva-3
Mammuthus meridionalis
Pachycrocuta brevirostris
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Inhaltszusammenfassung:

The Baza Basin preserves an exceptional Plio-Pleis- tocene palaeontological record, which includes the earliest evidence of human presence in western Eu- rope, dated to ~1.4 Ma, coming from the sites of Barranco León and Fuente Nueva-3, in the vicinity of the town of Orce. In this geographical region, early Homo coexisted and likely competed with the giant, short-faced hyena Pachycrocuta brevirostris for the exploitation of prey carcasses abandoned by saber-tooth cats (Megantereon and Homotheri- um). The presence of these hypercarnivorous felids favored the surviving of both scavenging species (Homo and Pachycrocuta), as they exploited their prey to a lesser extent than the living pantherine felids. In this context, proboscideans were an ex- ploited food resource, as evidenced by the presence of a partial skeleton of the mammoth Mammuthus meridionalis in Fuente Nueva-3, which was sur- rounded by lithic artifacts and hyena coprolites. This association suggests that both hominins and hyenas fed on the mammoth carcass. Some paths for elucidating their pattern of access to these re- sources are also discussed.

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