Paper No. 134-2
Presentation Time: 9:15 AM
THE DIET AND HABITAT PREFERENCES OF CAPROMERYX MEXICANA (MAMMALIA: ANTILOCAPRIDAE) FROM THE LATE PLEISTOCENE CEDRAL LOCALITY, SAN LUIS POTOSÍ, MEXICO
Capromeryx mexicana is a small antilocaprid that has been reported from several Pleistocene localities in Mexico and the United States. It has been proposed by some researchers that this species specialized in the consumption of grasses, based on the observation that it possesses hypsodont molars and the assumption that it inhabited grasslands. In this study, we test the hypothesis that C. mexicana was a strict grazer by reconstructing the diet and habitat preferences of a sample of this antilocaprid from the late Pleistocene (late Wisconsinan glacial stage) deposits of Cedral, north-central Mexico. We used both dental mesowear and stable isotope analyses in order to reconstruct the diet and habitat preferences of this ungulate species. The specimens examined show high tooth cusps which are either sharp or rounded in morphology, resulting in a mean mesowear score of 0.33. This value is located within the range of extant browsing ungulates and on the lower range of extant mixed feeders. The mean of δ13C value is -7.2‰ with a range of -8.8‰ to -5.7‰. The range of δ18O isotopic values is -4.6‰ to -4.4‰ with a mean of -4.5‰. The results of both mesowear and stable isotope analyses indicate that C. mexicana from Cedral was a C3/C4 mixed feeder and not a grazer as it was previously proposed. Comparisons of the isotopic values of C. mexicana with other ungulates from Cedral show that this antilocaprid may have inhabited the transitional zone between an open forest and grassland areas.