Taphonomy of two Holocene microvertebrate deposits, Takaka Hill, Nelson, New Zealand, and identification of the avian predator responsible

Trevor H. Worthy, Richard N. Holdaway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two deposits containing microvertebrate remains from the Holocene of New Zealand are described, and the representation and breakage patterns of elements for birds, bats, and rodents are discussed. The deposits were formed from remains ejected in pellets from roosting owls, almost certainly the endemic New Zealand strigid Sceloglaux albifacies (Gray, 1844), which is probably extinct. The taphonomic signature of S. albifacies is described in terms of the prey taxa included, the element representation, and breakage and corrosion patterns, and the tooth loss from mammalian mandibles and maxillae. Tables of magnitude and sign of contingency coefficients for survival of bones and for tooth loss from mammalian jaws gave clear patterns which may be useful tools for identification of predators based on prey remains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalHistorical Biology
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Holocene
  • Microvertebrate
  • New Zealand
  • Owl deposit
  • Taphonomy

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