Among the extinct cervids of the Pleistocene in South America, Morenelaphus has the most abundant fossil record and the broadest geographic distribution. However, the paleoecology of Morenelaphus is poorly known, especially its dietary patterns; thus, this study aims to recognize the feeding habits of this extinct cervid through analysis of microwear. The microwear analysis indicated a mixed-feeder diet for Morenelaphus; both high pit values and frequency of individuals with low number of fine scratches indicated the consumption of grasses, possibly including grit (siliciclastic sediment), ingested during feeding. Also, our results suggest that Morenelaphus possibly went extinct at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition as a result of climate/environmental changes and/or a physiological/nutritional crisis.
"Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology" – Elsevier
Published: May 15, 2018
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