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Feeding preferences of Gomphotherium subtapiroideum (Proboscidea, Mammalia) from the Miocene of Sandelzhausen (Northern Alpine Foreland Basin, southern Germany) through life and geological time: evidence from dental microwear analysis

Abstract : The objective of this study is to estimate changes in feeding preferences of the proboscidean species Gomphotherium subtapiroideum (Schlesinger 1917) by means of dental microwear analyses. The dietary changes are first evaluated through the ontogeny of this species, between juveniles and adults, and are then studied through geological time, from early Middle Miocene (MN5) to middle Late Miocene (MN8-9) localities of the German Molasse Basin. The microwear patterns of juvenile and adult individuals of G. subtapiroideum from Sandelzhausen (MN5) differ merely by the variable "length of scratches", emphasizing longer jaw movements during mastication in adults. The microwear signatures of G. subtapiroideum do not vary significantly between the two geological time periods studied, but reflect mixed feeding preferences in both cases. These results imply that, despite an important environmental change at that time (drying and opening), the ecology of G. subtapiroideum and, especially, its feeding habits were not affected. Its dental microwear pattern is then compared with those of other species of Proboscidea from the Middle-Late Miocene of Germany, namely Deinotherium giganteum and Gomphotherium steinheimense.
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Submitted on : Friday, April 13, 2012 - 10:53:21 AM
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Ivan Calandra, Ursula B. Göhlich, Gildas Merceron. Feeding preferences of Gomphotherium subtapiroideum (Proboscidea, Mammalia) from the Miocene of Sandelzhausen (Northern Alpine Foreland Basin, southern Germany) through life and geological time: evidence from dental microwear analysis. Paläontologische Zeitschrift, E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 2010, 84 (1), pp.205-215. ⟨10.1007/s12542-010-0054-0⟩. ⟨insu-00687459⟩

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