Abstract

The Camelot local fauna, a new fossil locality in southeastern South Carolina, has yielded a spectacularly abundant and well-preserved late Irvingtonian (ca. 400 ka) megafauna, including saber-toothed cat (Smilodon fatalis), wolf (Canis armbrusteri), cheetah (Miracinonyx inexpectatus), “camels” (Hemiauchenia macrocephala and Paleolama mirifica), tapir (Tapirus veroensis), deer (Odocoileus virginianus), sloth (Megalonyx jeffersoni), and horse (Equus sp.). Of particular interest is the number of well-preserved fossil teeth and the ability to decipher paleoecologies and paleodiets, especially for carnivores, by using carbon isotope compositions (δ13C) of these teeth. P. mirifica, M. jeffersoni, O. virginianus, and T. veroensis have the lowest δ13C values (−16‰ to −13‰, Vienna Peedee belemnite standard); C. armbrusteri, S. fatalis, and H. macrocephala have intermediate values (−13‰ to −8‰); and Equus sp. has the highest values (−7‰ to −1‰). High (>−5‰) vs. low (≤−9‰) δ13C values for herbivores indicate local habitats dominated by warm-climate grasses vs. trees and shrubs. The high δ13C values for Equus sp. indicate the presence of grasslands, whereas the low δ13C values for the other herbivores generally indicate the presence of forests. Although few data are available for carnivores, moderate δ13C values for C. armbrusteri indicate that it preyed mainly upon forest herbivores. S. fatalis appears to have preferred marginal woodland-grassland areas.

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