EMD - Equus Mesowear Datenbase
In the Eurasian and African palaeocommunities of the geologically
younger systemy (neogene), horses of the genus Equus
are among to the most often preserved members of the mammal fauna.
This allows to use the range of different
feeding regimes in Equus as a model to
characterise the structure of palaeohabitats. We apply the methodology
of extended mesowear analysis, which allows to infer the dietary regime of a specimen based on
isolated premolars and molars, which are among the most often preserved skeletal elements in most
fossil assemblages. Data for comparison are gathered from extant equid
populations (zebras, feral donkeys, and feral horses), which live in well documented
habitats. In a test study four taphonomically and stratigraphically well documented
pleistocene sites representing Equus ferus (Wallertheim, OIS 5a-d, Villa Seckendorff,
OIS 5a-3, Bockstein, OIS 5a-4 and Vogelherd, OIS 4-2) are examined for their dietary
signals in Equus. Thus conclusions can be drawn about the availability of food
components and the quality of the related palaeohabitats.
Co-operation with Prof. H. P.
Uerpmann and Prof. N. Conard (Institut für Ur- und
Frühgeschichte, University Tübingen).
Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft