January 21 2016

5:00 pm 154 BSRB

EcoEvoPub Series

Graduate Student Presentations


Caitlin Brown
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA

Skeletal injury distribution reflects hunting behavior in extinct predators: a novel application of GIS technology.

The distribution of preserved skeletal injuries reflects behavior and perhaps the risks of activities such as hunting large prey. I used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to interpret injury patterns in two Pleistocene predators from the La Brea tar seeps, the sabertooth cat Smilodon fatalis (SF) and the dire wolf Canis dirus (CD). Using a previously diagnosed pathology collection, we mapped 1700 traumatic and chronic injuries on skeletons of CD and SF and analyzed their spatial distribution. The results are consistent with the hunting behaviors predicted for each species and illuminate the muscular and skeletal stresses commonly faced by each. GIS has great potential use with spatially-associated biological data as a visual, analysis, and collaborative tool.











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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