Record Details

Kohn, M. J.;McKay, M. P.;Knight, J. L.
Dining in the pleistocene - Who's on the menu?
Journal Article
megafauna paleoecology stable isotopes teeth diet Pleistocene Atlantic coastal-plain rancho-la-brea stable-isotopes diet ecology mammals carbon deer reconstruction delta-o-18 Tapir Bibliography
The Camelot local fauna, a new fossil locality in southeastern South Carolina, has yielded a spectacularly abundant and well-preserved late Irvingtonian (ca. 400 ka) megafauna, including saber-toothed cat (Smilodon fatalis), wolf (Canis armbrusteri), cheetah (Miracinonyx inexpectatus), "camels" (Hemiauchenia macrocephala and Paleolama mirifica), tapir (Tapirus veroensis), deer (Odocoileus virginianus), sloth (Megalonyx jeffersoni), and horse (Equus sp.). Of particular interest is the number of well-preserved fossil teeth and the ability to decipher paleoecologies and paleodiets, especially for carnivores, by using carbon isotope compositions (delta(13)C) of these teeth. P. mirifica, M. jeffersoni, O. virginianus, and T veroensis have the lowest delta(13)C values (-16 parts per thousand to -13 parts per thousand Vienna Peedee bellemnite standard); C. armbrusteri, S. fatalis, and H. macrocephala have intermediate values (-13 parts per thousand, to -8 parts per thousand); and Equus sp. has the highest values (-7 parts per thousand to -1 parts per thousand). High (>-5 parts per thousand) vs. low (<=-9 parts per thousand) delta(13)C values for herbivores indicate local habitats dominated by warm-climate grasses vs. trees and shrubs. The high delta(13)C values for Equus sp. indicate the presence of grasslands, whereas the low delta(13)C values for the other herbivores generally indicate the presence of forests. Although few data are available for carnivores, moderate delta(13)C values for C. armbrusteri indicate that it preyed mainly upon forest herbivores. S. fatalis appears to have preferred marginal woodland-grassland areas.
Article 0091-7613