Paleoecological Implications Inferred from Stable Isotopic Signatures (δ13C, δ15N) in Bone Collagen of Ursus spelaeus ROS.-HEIN


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Publication Date

January 1999


Stable isotopic signatures measured in bone collagen provide with data related to the species diet type. In this paper we compare δ13C and δ15N outcomes in Ursus spelaeus ROS.-HEIN. bone remains from Liñares site and Cova Eirós site (Galicia, NW of the Iberian Peninsula). Some data on fossil Ursus arctos L. and Pleistocene Cervus elaphus L. from Galician caves are also presented, as a first approach to distinguish paleodiets of different species inferred from their isotopic signatures. Once all data have been analyzed with proper statistical tools and since this work was planned in order to reduce variation in stable isotopic signals caused by metabolic causes, we may assume that the observed differences between both studied groups are exclusively due to environmental factors and show a migration of the cave bear population in the Serra do Courel mountains from higher to lower altitudes because of the transition from warm climatic conditions to colder ones.


Δ13c, Δ15n, Collagen, Paleodiets, Ursus Spelaeus, Ursus Arctos, Cervus Elaphus, Paleoclimatology, Late Pleistocene, Galicia, NW Spain

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Vol. 24 (1999).