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Documentation of Missouri White-tailed Deer Chronoclines: Implications for Archaeology, Paleoecology, and Conservation Biology

Author(s): Abby Swaim

Year: 2015

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Summary

Multiple ecological factors (e.g., Bergmann’s rule, competition, reproductive rate, home range size, food quality and quantity) may cause changes in animal body size over time. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are ideal for studying these variables due to their importance today (to hunters and to wildlife enthusiasts), their known phenotypic plasticity in response to ecological factors, and their high frequency in zooarchaeological collections. Using post-craninal, weight-bearing bone measurements, I determine if stunting of modern Missouri white-tailed deer has occurred relative to prehistoric deer. Possible causes including forage availability, predation and intraspecific competition are evaluated. Missouri samples are compared to modern and prehistoric deer samples from central Texas as a means to gauge current and paleoecological similarities and differences between the two states. The advantages of incorporating paleozoological data with modern conservation biology are highlighted.

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Documentation of Missouri White-tailed Deer Chronoclines: Implications for Archaeology, Paleoecology, and Conservation Biology. Abby Swaim. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397381)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America