How homogeneous are microwear patterns on a fossil horse tooth? Preliminary test on a premolar of Equus altidens from Barranco Leon 5 (Spain)


Andrea Maria Francesco VALLI, Maria Rita PALOMBO & Maria Teresa ALBERDI
Microwear patterns of twenty seven points on the enamel surface of a fossil horse tooth (upper P3-4; Equus altidens granatensis, late Early Pleistocene, Barranco Leon 5, Guadix-Baza basin, Spain) were analysed by a correspondence analysis test with the dual aim of testing the suitability of this premolar in analysing microwear of horses, and of analysing how consistent the microwear patterns are across different micro-areas on a single cheek tooth. The results obtained stress that remarkable differences in dental scars are restricted to few zones. The microwear patterns of the lingual enamel surface of the paracone, the point classically analysed on upper M2 for studying microwear in ruminants, and of the pli caballin are the most consistent with those of the other analysed micro-areas. The pattern of dental microwear shown at these points by the upper P3-4 of Equus altidens granatensis from Barranco Leon 5 is closer to those shown by seasonal mixed feeders than of those by strict grazers.
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