By R. Lee Lyman
Quantitative Paleozoology describes and illustrates how the is still of long-dead animals recovered from archaeological and paleontological excavations may be studied and analyzed. The equipment variety from deciding on what number animals of every species are represented to deciding upon no matter if one assortment involves extra damaged and extra burned bones than one other. All tools are defined and illustrated with facts from actual collections, whereas a number of graphs illustrate a number of quantitative homes.
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Additional info for Quantitative Paleozoology
Validity is a different property of a measurement than reliability, which simply defined means replicability, or, if we measure something twice, do we get the same answer? 5 cm, then we are producing rather consistent and thus reliable measures of that femur’s length. On the other hand, femur length is unlikely to be a valid measure of the time period when the represented animal was alive, regardless of the reliability of our measurements of length. Another set of measurements will help underscore the significance of the preceding paragraph, and help highlight the differences between a target variable and a measured variable.
The member species can be defined either taxonomically or on the basis of more functional ecological criteria, such as life form or diet” (Brown and Lomolino 1998:96). But “most so-called communities are arbitrary and convenient segments of a continuum of species with overlapping ecological requirements, not involving a high level of interdependence” (Lawson 1999:7). Thus one commentator notes that a biological community can be defined one of two ways: As a group of organisms occupying a location, or as a group of organisms with ecological linkages among them (Southwood 1987).
In any given collection of paleozoological remains, one might wish to know if carnivores are less abundant than herbivores, just as they normally are on the landscape. Given what he knew about ecological trophic structure – that herbivores should outnumber carnivores – imagine Stock’s surprise to learn that the typically observed food pyramid or ecological trophic structure was upside down. The mammalian remains from Rancho La Brea represented more carnivores than herbivores − for a reason that many paleontologists thought was a taphonomic reason – because scavenging carnivores got “bogged down” or mired in the sticky tar seeping from the ground and failed to escape.
Quantitative Paleozoology by R. Lee Lyman