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Late Pleistocene mammalian assemblages of Southeast Asia: New dating, mortality profiles and evolution of the predator–prey relationships in an environmental context

Bacon, Anne-Marie, Westaway, Kira, Antoine, Pierre-Olivier, Duringer, Philippe, Blin, Amandine, Demeter, Fabrice, Ponche, Jean-Luc, Zhao, Jian-Xin, Barnes, Lani Minnie, Sayavonkhamdy, Thongsa, Thuy, Nguyen Thi Kim, Long, Vu The, Patole-Edoumba, Elise, Shackelford, Laura
Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology 2015 v.422 pp. 101-127
Canidae, Felidae, Rusa unicolor, Sus scrofa, Tapirus, carnivores, evolution, fauna, habitats, humans, mortality, paleoclimatology, paleoecology, predator-prey relationships, species diversity, teeth, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam
Karstic sites have great potential for yielding data regarding changes in faunal communities in the Pleistocene of Southeast Asia. In this region, the majority of fossil-bearing deposits are karstic breccias, which generally demonstrate a complicated sedimentary history. While most of the mammalian assemblages recovered in these deposits are only composed of isolated teeth, their study remains essential for reconstructing paleoecology and paleoclimatology of the region. We analyzed the assemblages recovered in three mainland and two insular karstic sites: Tam Hang South and Nam Lot in northern Laos, Duoi U'Oi in northern Vietnam, Punung in central Java and Sibrambang in western Sumatra and obtained new chronologies for three of these sites so that their significance could be discussed within their correct chronological context. The resulting age ranges place the sites in MIS5 and MIS4. The comparative analysis of the faunas, in terms of taphonomy, taxonomic diversity and abundance, and mortality profiles (Cervus unicolor, Sus scrofa, Sus vittatus, rhinocerotids and Tapirus indicus), reveals marked differences in prey–predators (carnivores and/or humans) relationships in relation to habitat. The study of hominines-bearing sites (Punung, Nam Lot, Duoi U'Oi) allows us to emphasize different interactions with large carnivores (felids, hyaenids, canids).