Small Mammal Taphonomy

  • Peter Andrews
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 180)


The study of small mammal faunas presents particular problems for the vertebrate paleontologist. This is because small mammals are strongly affected by taphonomic processes that alter the original composition of the faunal community. Particular species may be selected for or against, with the result that while some species may be missing altogether from a fossil assemblage, even though they were present in the community from which the fossil assemblage was derived, other species may be present in numbers unrelated to their original abundance. This makes it difficult to place too much reliance either on species presence or absence or even more on the relative abundances of species which might be used as the basis for paleoecological reconstruction.


Turkey Compaction Miocene Hunt Pleistocene 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Andrews
    • 1
  1. 1.British Museum (Natural History)LondonEngland

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