Title

Direct Evidence for the Importance of Small Animals to Prehistoric Diets: A Review of Coprolite Studies

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1993

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Abstract

Researchers tend to underestimate or ignore the importance of small animals to the prehistoric diet due to the difficulty of separating cultural from noncultural faunal debris excavated from sites. Human coprolite analyses (dessicated human feces) indicate prehistoric dietary consumption of small animals. The large number of coprolites analyzed from North America reveals direct ingestion of small animals and indicates that small animal remains from sites indeed reflect human dietary patterns. The coprolites reveal that reptiles, birds, bats, and a large variety of rodents were an important and prevalent component of the prehistoric diet.

DOI

10.2190/LW66-4V7J-AYC5-KLV1

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