New article published by Bañuls-Cardona, S., Blasco, R., Rosell, J., Rufà, A., Vallverdú, J. & Rivals, F. in Scientific Reports.

The application of dental wear study to murids has always been ruled out because of their omnivorous diet, which does not leave significant wear on the dentition. Nevertheless, in our work we select Apodemus sylvaticus (wood mouse) as the object of study for several reasons: its seasonal diet, its ability to resist the gastric juices of predators, the fact that it has not undergone major morphological changes since its appearance 3 million years ago, and its widespread distribution throughout much of Europe and part of Africa. The importance of this work lies in the modifications we make to the dental wear methodology for its application to murids. These enable us to obtain quantitative data on the entire tooth surface. The sample chosen was a total of 75 lower first molars from two different archaeological sites: Teixoneres cave and Xaragalls cave. The chronology of the samples chosen ranges from Marine Isotope Stages 5–3. The data obtained reveal that the part of the tooth that shows most wear is the distal part (entoconid). Furthermore, the results provide us with relevant information on the types of accumulations of remains in the caves (short vs. long term), as well as on the seasonality of Neanderthal occupations during the Upper Pleistocene (MIS5-3) of the northeastern Iberian Peninsula.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-26705-x


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