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Mastozoología neotropical

Print version ISSN 0327-9383On-line version ISSN 1666-0536


MONTALVO, Claudia I; VEZZOSI, Raúl I  and  KIN, Marta S. Taphonomic analysis of rodent bones from Lontra longicaudis (mustelidae, carnivora) scats in fluvial environments. Mastozool. neotrop. [online]. 2015, vol.22, n.2, pp.319-333. ISSN 0327-9383.

The Neotropical otter (Lontra longicaudis, Mustelidae, Carnivora) is defined as a generalist carni­vore. Although it is a fish-crustacean feeder, rodents are commonly found in its diet, though less frequently. In order to learn about the effects that this predator produces on its prey’s bones, we conducted taphonomic analysis of bone remains from scats collected in a riparian habitat of Santa Fe, Argentina. The results were compared with data of other carnivore mammals and such comparison confirmed that L. longicaudis produced severe destruction of bones. The evaluation of the degree of digestion showed a high number of bone remains and teeth with heavy and extreme modifications. This allows the inclusion of L. longicaudis in the category of extreme modifier of its prey’s bones. This taphonomic study shows that L. longicaudis is an active accumulator of rodent remains, when this type of prey is available in the environment. The data presented in this paper provide criteria to identify the activity of this predator produced in archaeological and paleontological sites linked to fluvial environments.

Keywords : Actualistic taphonomy; Bone modifications; Carnivora; Rodent prey; Lontra longicaudis.

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