Just out | Leopards as taphonomic agents in the Iberian Pleistocene, the case of Racó del Duc (Valencia, Spain) @ Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology

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Leopards as taphonomic agents in the Iberian Pleistocene, the case of Racó del Duc (Valencia, Spain)


Víctor Sauqué, Alfred Sanchis


Bone accumulations created by carnivores during the Pleistocene have been largely associated with the action of cave hyenas (Crocuta spelaea Golfüss, 1823), identified all over Europe. Yet in recent years it has been shown that leopards (Panthera pardus Linnaeus, 1758) played a role in the creation of sites in the Iberian Peninsula. In this study we present the taphonomic study of the bone accumulation of the Pre-Solutrean level at the Racó del Duc Cave (south of the province of Valencia), where the dominant species (Capra pyrenaica Schinz, 1838) has been accumulated by leopards. Together with new data and other references taken from the bibliography, we have summarised the main taphonomic characteristics of the sites accumulated by leopards. The predator-prey relationship has also been analysed and it has shown that during the Pleistocene, leopards in the Iberian Peninsula were specialised in catching goats, showing similar behaviour to that of snow leopards. Said specialisation may have been due to the occupation of caves in steep areas where rupicolous fauna predominated.



Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)
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