Palaeodietary traits of large mammals from the middle Miocene of Gračanica (Bugojno Basin, Bosnia-Herzegovina)

Autor(en)
Alexandros Xafis, Juha Saarinen, Katharina Bastl, Doris Nagel, Friðgeir Grímsson
Abstrakt

Recent excavations at the Gračanica coal mine (Bugojno Basin, Bosnia-Herzegovina) have unearthed numerous skeletal parts of fossil vertebrates, including a noteworthy collection of mammalian remains. Previous palaeoecological investigations of the Dinarides Lake System were established using stratigraphical, palaeofloral, and malacological data. However, large mammal remains have so far not been used to reconstruct the terrestrial palaeoenvironment of this important fossil ecosystem. Here, the palaeodietary preferences of large mammals were investigated, using a multiproxy approach by employing dental microwear and dental mesowear analysis, in order to provide new perspectives on the terrestrial palaeoecology of the Dinarides Lake System. The dental microwear of all available adult mammalian teeth was analysed. Dental mesowear analysis was employed for ungulate and proboscidean taxa, using mesowear scores and mesowear angles, respectively. The analysis reveals the presence of browsing, “dirty browsing”, and mixed-feeding herbivorous taxa, with seasonal fruit, or even grass intake. Additionally, the analysis of the carnivores suggests the presence of hyaena- and cheetah-like hypercarnivores, as well as generalists. The palaeodietary traits of the fossil mammals suggest a closed canopy-like environment, which is supported by the fossil plant assemblage. Palaeopalynological data confirm the omnipresence of fleshy fruit-bearing plants, herbaceous taxa, as well as grasses, which justifies the seasonal fruit browsing, the common “dirty browsing”, and the occasional grazing behaviour visualized for some of the fossil mammals from Gračanica.

Organisation(en)
Institut für Paläontologie, Department für Botanik und Biodiversitätsforschung
Externe Organisation(en)
University of Helsinki, Medizinische Universität Wien
Journal
Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments
Band
100
Seiten
457–477
ISSN
1867-1594
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12549-020-00435-2
Publikationsdatum
06-2020
Peer-reviewed
Ja
ÖFOS 2012
105112 Historische Geologie, 105118 Paläontologie, 105117 Paläobotanik, 105123 Stratigraphie
Schlagwörter
ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete
Global and Planetary Change, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, Ecology, Geology, Palaeontology
Link zum Portal
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/de/publications/palaeodietary-traits-of-large-mammals-from-the-middle-miocene-of-graanica-bugojno-basin-bosniaherzegovina(7eae787f-e1d5-4208-a0ab-c0213e26216e).html