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Trophic interactions between larger crocodylians and giant tortoises on Aldabra Atoll, western Indian Ocean, during the late pleistocene
Scheyer, Torsten M. (University of Zurich. Palaeontological Institute and Museum)
Delfino, Massimo (Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont)
Klein, Nicole (Universität Bonn. Steinmann Institut für Geologie, Paläontologie und Mineralogie)
Bunbury, Nancy (Seychelles Islands Foundation)
Fleischer-Dogley, Frauke (Seychelles Islands Foundation)
Hansen, Dennis M. (University of Zurich. Zoological Museum and the Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies)

Date: 2018
Abstract: Today, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Aldabra Atoll is home to about 100 000 giant tortoises, Aldabrachelys gigantea, whose fossil record goes back to the Late Pleistocene. New Late Pleistocene fossils (age ca. 90-125 000 years) from the atoll revealed some appendicular bones and numerous shell fragments of giant tortoises and cranial and postcranial elements of crocodylians. Several tortoise bones show circular holes, pits and scratch marks that are interpreted as bite marks of crocodylians. The presence of a Late Pleistocene crocodilian species, Aldabrachampsus dilophus, has been known for some time, but the recently found crocodylian remains presented herein are distinctly larger than those previously described. This indicates the presence of at least some larger crocodylians, either of the same or of a different species, on the atoll. These larger crocodylians, likely the apex predators in the Aldabra ecosystem at the time, were well capable of inflicting damage on even very large giant tortoises. We thus propose an extinct predator-prey interaction between crocodylians and giant tortoises during the Late Pleistocene, when both groups were living sympatrically on Aldabra, andwe discuss scenarios for the crocodylians directly attacking the tortoises or scavenging on recently deceased animals.
Rights: Aquest document està subjecte a una llicència d'ús Creative Commons. Es permet la reproducció total o parcial, la distribució, la comunicació pública de l'obra i la creació d'obres derivades, fins i tot amb finalitats comercials, sempre i quan es reconegui l'autoria de l'obra original. Creative Commons
Language: Anglès.
Document: article ; recerca ; publishedVersion
Subject: Seychelles ; Predator-prey interaction ; Scavenging ; Testudines ; Aldabrachelys ; Aldabrachampsus
Published in: Royal Society Open Science, Vol. 5, Issue 1 (January 2018) , art. 171800, ISSN 2054-5703

DOI: 10.1098/rsos.171800
PMID: 29410873

15 p, 2.2 MB

The record appears in these collections:
Research literature > UAB research groups literature > Research Centres and Groups (scientific output) > Experimental sciences > Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP)
Articles > Research articles
Articles > Published articles

 Record created 2020-03-09, last modified 2020-05-05

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