Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Program

Geosciences

Date of Award

5-2021

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Steven Wallace

Committee Members

Blaine Schubert, Joshua Samuels

Abstract

Saber-toothed remains have been found worldwide throughout the Cenozoic, until the end of the Pleistocene. One site from Alachua County, Florida preserves a diverse Miocene fauna, including the machairodontine Nimravides galiani (Felidae) and the saber-toothed Barbourofelis loveorum (Barbourofelidae). Both taxa roamed what would become the Love Bone Bed site during the Late Miocene (Late Clarendonian NALMA), ~ 9.5 Mya. Previous descriptions focused on crania; yet the large sample of postcrania remained undescribed. Hence, this project includes a detailed postcranial description of both taxa. Results show that N. galiani resembles extant felids, whereas B. loveorum resembles Smilodon fatalis, as well as ursids. Additionally, locomotion and hunting behavior (prey capture) was examined quantitatively to assess ecologic overlap (niche partitioning vs direct competition). N. galiani probably displayed terrestrial locomotion in open habitats, whereas B. loveorum likely inhabited the deciduous forest as an ambulatory opportunistic/ambush predator. Results support niche partitioning, rather than direct competition.

Document Type

Thesis - embargo

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Friday, April 04, 2025

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