Ondatra zibethicus (Arvicolinae, Rodentia) dental microwear patterns as a potential tool for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction

Patrick J. Lewis, Maria Gutierrez, Eileen Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Subfossil muskrat remains are numerous in the lower strata at the Lubbock Lake Landmark, Southern High Plains of Texas, dating from c. 11,100 BP to 8500 BP. This period witnessed a significant change in palaeoclimate and habitat at Lubbock Lake and the Southern High Plains. These changes caused the disappearance of many plant and animal species, and the emergence of many others. The muskrat, primarily herbivorous, altered their diet to accommodate these new plants. The scanning electron microscope and qualitative methods were used to analyse differences in dental microwear patterns for the two Lubbock Lake populations most distant temporally. Differential microwear patterns on the enamel of the lower first molars consistent with the changes in vegetation known for Lubbock Lake during the period of muskrat habitation were found. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-798
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume27
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

Keywords

  • Dental microwear
  • Environmental reconstruction
  • Muskrat
  • Scanning electron microscope

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