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Diet and isotopes of Late Pleistocene ground sloths: first results for Lestodon and Glossotherium (Xenarthra, Tardigrada)

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Abstract:

Biogeochemical techniques have become most useful in the determination of the dietary niches of fossil mammalian species and in the reconstruction of past communities. Stable isotopes analyses (13C and 15N) were applied to study the diet of the mylodontids Lestodon and Glossotherium and other Late Pleistocene megamammals. Only the samples for these ground sloths yielded reliable values. The results of the δ15N for L. armatus and G. robustum could be related to a non-ruminant herbivorous physiology or to the climate inferred for the Pampean region in the Late Pleistocene, colder and drier than present. The results of δ13C for L. armatus and G. robustum indicate a preference for C3 vegetation in open environments. This is also congruent with the trophic habits inferred for these ground sloths from morphological and biomechanical evidence that point them out as bulk feeders.

Keywords: LATE PLEISTOCENE; MEGAFAUNA; PAMPEAN REGION; TROPHIC HABITS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/0077-7749/2011/0197

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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