Small mammals bone modifications in Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus pellets from Algeria: implications for archaeological sites - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Taphonomy Year : 2012

Small mammals bone modifications in Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus pellets from Algeria: implications for archaeological sites

Abstract

In this taphonomic study we examine bone modifications to small mammal remains in regurgitated pellets from Algerian Black-shouldered Kites, Elanus caeruleus. This is the first paper to examine the diet and taphonomic alterations of this species. It is shown here that the majority of prey remains appearing in the diet of E. caeruleus come from small mammals (93%) and that the modifications on the small mammal bones by this predator are consistent with the "strong" predator modification category Andrews (1992). The mean percentage of bone preservation is 28% and the mean percentage of bone fragmentation is 63%. For the most common prey species, Mus spretus, digestion marks occur on 63% of the isolated incisors, 77% of the isolated molars and 90% of femurs with predominantly light to moderate grades of etching. The effects of predation and digestion on different prey species are compared and some differences in preservation are highlighted. The potential role of Black-shouldered Kites as small mammal bone accumulators must not be neglected, particularly in North-African archaeological and palaeontological sites.
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Dates and versions

hal-02402833 , version 1 (10-12-2019)

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  • HAL Id : hal-02402833 , version 1

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Karim Souttou, Abdessalam Manaa, Emmanuelle Stoetzel, Makhlouf Sekour, Adel Hamani, et al.. Small mammals bone modifications in Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus pellets from Algeria: implications for archaeological sites. Journal of Taphonomy, 2012, 10 (1), pp.1-19. ⟨hal-02402833⟩
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