Palynology and chronology of hyaena coprolites from the Piñar karstic Caves Las Ventanas and Carihuela, southern Spain
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
- Volumen: 552
- Fecha: 15 agosto 2020
- ISSN: 00310182
- Tipo de fuente: Revista
- DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2020.109771
- Tipo de documento: Artículo
- Editorial: Elsevier B.V.
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.This paper presents pollen analyses and radiocarbon dating on Crocuta coprolites from Las Ventanas (LV) and Carihuela (Car) Caves in southern Spain (Granada), with the aim of reconstructing the environmental conditions of these hominin sites. The LV coprolites are radiocarbon dated from c. 37,890 to 6980 cal yr BP, and the Car coprolites from c. 31,063 to 7861 cal yr BP. Overall, the palaeoecological scenario inferred from both coprolite series display similar patterns, with Pinus, Poaceae, and Artemisia as dominant during the full Pleistocene, and an important contribution of Quercus in the most recently dated coprolite samples. While the palynology is consistent with results of former investigations on the past environments in the region as obtained from other deposits (peat bogs, cave infills), the Late Glacial and Holocene chronology of several coprolites in both sites is in conflict with the generally accepted timing of extinction of Crocuta in western Europe. A discussion on the taphonomical processes and potential sources of carbon contamination of the radiocarbon samples is provided. The correlation between pollen from coprolites and from sedimentary records, and the paucity of the fossil bone record suggests nevertheless, that a late survival of Crocuta in southern Spain should not be categorically discarded.