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Island rule and bone metabolism in fossil murines from Timor

Miszkiewicz, Justyna J., Louys, Julien, Beck, Robert M D, Mahoney, Patrick, Aplin, Ken, O'Connor, Sue (2020) Island rule and bone metabolism in fossil murines from Timor. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 129 (3). pp. 570-586. ISSN 0024-4066. (doi:doi.org/10.1093/biolinnean/blz197) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:79285)

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Abstract

Skeletal growth rates reconstructed from bone histology in extinct insular hippopotamids, elephants, bovids, and sauropods have been used to infer dwarfism as a response to island conditions. Limited published records of osteocyte lacunae densities (Ot.Dn), a proxy for living osteocyte proliferation, have suggested a slower rate of bone metabolism in giant mammals. Here, we test whether insularity may have affected bone metabolism in a series of small to giant murine rodents from Timor. Ten adult femora were selected from a fossil assemblage dated to the Late Quaternary (ca. 5–18 ka). Femur morphometric data were used in computing phylogenetically-informed body mass regressions, although phylogenetic signal was very low (Pagel’s lambda = 0.03). Osteocyte lacunae densities from midshaft femur histological sections were evaluated against bone size and estimated body weight. Weight estimates calculated from these femora ranged from 75g to 1188g. Statistically significant (p < 0.05) and strongly negative relationships between Ot.Dn, femur size, and estimated weight were found. Larger specimens were characterised by lower Ot.Dn, indicating that giant murines from Timor may have had a relatively slow pace of bone metabolic activity, consistent with predictions made by the island rule.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: doi.org/10.1093/biolinnean/blz197
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biological Anthropology
Depositing User: Patrick Mahoney
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2019 08:52 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2020 09:37 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/79285 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Mahoney, Patrick: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2715-3096
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