Carnivore competition, bone destruction, and bone density

J. Tyler Faith, Curtis Marean, Anna K. Behrensmeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In carnivore-modified archaeofaunal assemblages it is important to evaluate the degree to which carnivores have overprinted hominin behavioral signals. To examine the signals of increased competition for discarded bone, we present controlled experimental data on 33 simulated archaeological sites subjected to secondary consumption by spotted hyenas. We examine the relationship between competition, as measured by controlled numbers of hyenas and limb bones, and resultant levels of destruction and correlations between long-bone portion survivorship and bone density. Our results indicate that levels of destruction are equivalent regardless of the numbers of hyenas or long-bones included in the experimental assemblages. Correlations between long-bone epiphyseal and near-epiphyseal portions and bone density, however, do provide an indication of the level of competition. Results from the experimental study are used to highlight divergent levels of carnivore competition for hominin-discarded bone at the Plio-Pleistocene localities FLKN-Zinjanthropus and FLKN levels 1-2 from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2025-2034
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume34
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2007

Fingerprint

Tanzania
indication
Carnivores
Bone Density
Destruction
Controlled
Hyena
Assemblages
Archaeological Sites
Spotted Hyena
Locality
Experimental Study
Survivorship
Plio-Pleistocene
Olduvai Gorge

Keywords

  • Bone density
  • Carnivore competition
  • Carnivore destruction
  • Olduvai
  • Spotted hyena
  • Taphonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Archaeology

Cite this

Carnivore competition, bone destruction, and bone density. / Faith, J. Tyler; Marean, Curtis; Behrensmeyer, Anna K.

In: Journal of Archaeological Science, Vol. 34, No. 12, 12.2007, p. 2025-2034.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Faith, J. Tyler ; Marean, Curtis ; Behrensmeyer, Anna K. / Carnivore competition, bone destruction, and bone density. In: Journal of Archaeological Science. 2007 ; Vol. 34, No. 12. pp. 2025-2034.
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