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Ecological interpretations of early Pleistocene deer (Mammalia, Cervidae) from Ceyssaguet (Haute-Loire, France)

Thomas M. KAISER & Roman CROITOR

en Geodiversitas 26 (4) - Pages 661-674

Published on 31 December 2004

The mesowear method is applied to reveal the type of forage eaten by the late Villafranchian deer of Ceyssaguet (Haute-Loire, France). Further, habitat properties of the paleoenvironment of Ceyssaguet are reconstructed. The most common deer species, Eucladoceros ctenoides Nesti, 1841 and Metacervoceros rhenanus Dubois, 1904, are interpreted as abrasion-dominated mixed feeders with close to 45% grass in their forage which was similar to that of the south east Asian hog deer and sambar. A third deer species, Praemegaceros obscurus Azzaroli, 1953, represented only by three fossil specimens, is interpreted as a more attrition dominated mixed feeder. Combined with mesowear analysis, taphonomical and morpho-functional data allow the reconstruction of the paleoenvironment of Ceyssaguet as an open grassland with wooded habitats near the lake, under cold climate.

Keywords :

Mammalia, Cervidae, early Pleistocene, France, mesowear analysis, paleodiet reconstruction, paleoenvironment

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