Prey and Predators on the Late Pleistocene Llano Estacado

Author(s): Eileen Johnson

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Human Interactions with Extinct Fauna" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Humans are among the major predators on the Llano Estacado (Southern High Plains, USA) during the late Pleistocene in competition with a diverse carnivore guild that included the now-extinct giant short-faced bear, saber-tooth cat, American lion, and dire wolf. Direct evidence on bone in the form of cut marks and bone fracture patterns are used in identifying human prey animals and the procurement strategies. Among the now-extinct large game animals utilized by people are the typical four – Columbian mammoth, western camel, horses, and ancient bison and the atypical short-faced bear. Bone data indicate fresh carcass processing (probably hunting) and stiffened carcass processing (found carcass; scavenging). The large carnivores are focused on specific taxa within the large herbivore guild that enabled them to minimize competition among themselves. The typical four animals for humans also are prey for the large carnivores, bringing humans into direct competition that most likely affected the procurement strategy employed at any one time, but also may have encouraged a diverse rather than a focused diet breath. Along with technological advantages (stone weapons, fire), food security and personal/group safety had to be contributing factors in addressing competition with the large carnivores and minimizing danger.

Cite this Record

Prey and Predators on the Late Pleistocene Llano Estacado. Eileen Johnson. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450814)

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23032