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Browsing by Author "Paasi, Teea"

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  • Paasi, Teea (2016)
    The Pleistocene (2588-11,2 ka) is known as the time of the ice age. The ice age ended at the beginning of the warm and more humid Holocene. Large carnivorous predators, which survived the transition, have adapted to the current new environments. The goal of this thesis was to compare the osteological changes in the large carnivores from the Pleistocene to present. The data consists Finnish Recent and Central European fossil carnivore carnassial teeth, the calcaneum and the femoral head. Body mass estimates and carnivory indexes were taken from the carnassial tooth, the calcaneal indices were used to determine environmental openness and femoral head measurements indicated locomotory category. The femoral head changes have not been tested on carnivores, so the applicability to carnivores was also tested. The wolf (Canis lupus), the wolverine (Gulo gulo) and the bear (Ursus arctos) are smaller Recently than in the Pleistocene. Wolf's diet has changed to more omnivorous, and changes in the calcaneum indicate more closed habitats. There are no significant intraspecific differences in Finnish carnivore populations between latitudes. The femoral head indices confirm the benefits of certain osteological traits in terrestrial animals (the wolf, the wolverine, the bear) compared to the traits of a more scansorial ambush predator, the lynx (Lynx lynx). The decline in the body masses from Pleistocene to Recent has been known previously. The changes in the body masses in Finland have not been made. The lack of intraspecific differences reflects constant environmental conditions throughout Finland. The differences between fossil and Recent wolf bring new insight on the matter. The more closed environments in Finland are reflected in the wolf, and differences in locomotion between species can be detected from the material.