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Implications for Late Miocene diet from Diceros gansuensis: starch granules in tooth calculus


Reconstructing the diet of extinct species is a fundamental goal in vertebrate paleobiology. Dental calculus is the calcium phosphate deposits on teeth, which captures a large number of food particles and contains the food information of ancient animal. It is possible to explore ancient animal dietary and investigate the environmental information from dental calculus. A large number of starch granules were found in dental calculus of Dicros gansuensis excavated from the earliest Late Miocene Guonigou fauna of the Linxia Basin, Gansu Province. It is the first time that starch granules from Late Miocene were found. We classified the ancient starch granules by its morphological characteristics and also analyzed the starch granules of leaves of modern plants around the living environment of D. gansuensis to find modern starch granules and compare them with ancient ones. The results indicate that D. gansuensis may eat not only shrubs leaves, such as the plant from Caprifoliaceae, but also some tree leaves from Juglandaceae (walnut), and maybe some herbs from Ranunculaceae and Polygonaceae. It is consistent with the results of previous morphological studies, and it also provides more information. Our study extends the range of time and object for dental calculus research, and offers more possibilities for research on feeding habits of ancient mammals.
Download Comment From cooperative journals:《古脊椎动物学报》 Hits:4133 Downloads:953
Recommended references: CHEN He,WANG Shi-Qi,TAO Da-Wei,XIA Xiu-Min,CHEN Shan-Qin,WU Yan.(2017).Implications for Late Miocene diet from Diceros gansuensis: starch granules in tooth calculus.古脊椎动物学报.doi:10.19615/j.cnki.1000-3118.171124 (Click&Copy)
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[V1] 2017-11-24 14:01:39 chinaXiv:201711.02563V1 Download
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