Main content area

Not only hyenids: A multi-scale analysis of Upper Pleistocene carnivore coprolites in Cova del Coll Verdaguer (NE Iberian Peninsula)

Sanz, Montserrat, Daura, Joan, Égüez, Natalia, Brugal, Jean-Philip
Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology 2016 v.443 pp. 249-262
carnivores, feces, fossils, humans, morphs, Iberian Peninsula
Three morphotypes of fossil fecal material (coprolites) have been identified from the Upper Pleistocene site of Cova del Coll Verdaguer (NE Iberian Peninsula). Coprolites are commonly found in Pleistocene records and also in places in which human and carnivore activities co-occurred. However, coprolite identification is typically limited to hyenids, the most readily recognizable fossilized feces, owing to their distinctive shape and good preservation, although non-hyena carnivore coprolites are also likely to be present in these assemblages. Several criteria for a multi-scale integrative analysis are proposed here for discriminating different morphotypes. Hence, this analysis provides an opportunity to assess the involvement of several carnivores in bone accumulations, to identify carnivores not specifically represented by skeletal remains and to evaluate interactions between humans and the carnivore guild, especially medium and small carnivores.