The zooarchaeology and isotopic ecology of the Bahamian hutia (Geocapromys ingrahami): Evidence for pre-Columbian anthropogenic management

Autoři: Michelle J. LeFebvre aff001;  Susan D. deFrance aff002;  George D. Kamenov aff003;  William F. Keegan aff001;  John Krigbaum aff002
Působiště autorů: Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, Florida, United States of America aff001;  Department of Anthropology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States of America aff002;  Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States of America aff003
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(9)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0220284


Bahamian hutias (Geocapromys ingrahami) are the only endemic terrestrial mammal in The Bahamas and are currently classified as a vulnerable species. Drawing on zooarchaeological and new geochemical datasets, this study investigates human management of Bahamian hutias as cultural practice at indigenous Lucayan settlements in The Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos Islands. In order to determine how hutia diet and distribution together were influenced by Lucayan groups we conducted isotopic analysis on native hutia bone and tooth enamel recovered at the Major’s Landing site on Crooked Island in The Bahamas and introduced hutias from the Palmetto Junction site on Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos Islands. Results indicate that some hutias consumed 13C-enriched foods that were either provisioned or available for opportunistic consumption. Strontium isotope ratios for hutia tooth enamel show a narrow range consistent with local origin for all of the archaeological specimens. In contrast, analysis of strontium isotopes in modern Bahamian hutia teeth from animals relocated to Florida from The Bahamas demonstrates that these animals rapidly lost their Bahamian signature and adopted a Florida signature. Therefore, strontium should be used cautiously for determining hutia provenance, particularly for individuals that were translocated between islands. Overall, our findings suggest that ancient human presence did not always result in hutia vulnerability and that the impact to hutia populations was variable across pre-Columbian indigenous settlements.

Klíčová slova:

Archaeology – Collagens – Diet – Islands – Strontium – Teeth – The Bahamas – Turkic people


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