Testing the hypothesis of an impoverished predator guild in the Early Miocene ecosystems of Patagonia: An analysis of meat availability and competition intensity among carnivores
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© 2020 Elsevier B.V. The lower Miocene Santa Cruz Formation (dated to ~18–16 Ma) of Southern Patagonia, Argentina, preserves rich vertebrate faunas, which are representative of communities that existed prior to the Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI). Some previous researchers have hypothesized that these pre-GABI faunas had a low richness of mammalian carnivores (an impoverished predator guild), while others argue for a predator/prey ratio similar to those of recent communities. In this paper, we analyze faunas from the lower part of the Santa Cruz Formation (FL 1–7) using a methodology that allows us to quantify (i) the meat resources that were available to the secondary consumers of the palaeocommunity; and (ii) the competition intensity for these resources. In our modeling, we considered different scenarios related to meat consumption, including the possibility that several taxa had a scavenging behavior, and also differences in mortality rates between young and adult prey. Our results provide estimates of the nutritional requirements from the predator/scavenger guild under maximum and minimum quantities of meat offered by the prey community, which indicate the presence of a well-balanced palaeocommunity. Moreover, the competition indices point to a relatively high level of competition for prey of small-to-medium size, although competition for resources from large mammal prey was rather low. This suggests that the predator/scavenger guild was not impoverished, although there were insufficient carnivore species to fully consume the megaherbivore biomass.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1016/j.palaeo.2020.109805
Publication InfoRodríguez-Gómez, G; Cassini, GH; Palmqvist, P; Bargo, MS; Toledo, N; Martín-González, JA; ... Vizcaíno, SF (2020). Testing the hypothesis of an impoverished predator guild in the Early Miocene ecosystems of Patagonia: An analysis of meat availability and competition intensity among carnivores. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 554. pp. 109805-109805. 10.1016/j.palaeo.2020.109805. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/21360.
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Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology
I have two areas of research:1) the evolution of primates in South America; and 2) the use of primate anatomy to reconstruct the phylogenetic history and adapations of living and extinct primates, especially Anthropoidea. 1) Evolution of primates and mammalian faunal evolution, especially in South America. For the past 30 years, I have been engaged in research in Argentina, Bolivia The Dominican Republic, Peru, and Colombia with three objectives:a) to reconstruct the evol