Scientists are utilizing archaeological methods to look at how sea otters use massive rocks on the shoreline as “anvils” to interrupt open shells – providing a distinction between human and animal coastal settlement proof.
Sea otters are the one marine mammal which is understood to make use of stone instruments, breaking open shells utilizing each small rocks whereas floating on their backs and enormous stationary rocks on the shoreline.
Once they use shoreline rocks, they depart behind mounds of deserted shells – creating invaluable archaeological proof of the place their habitat has stretched to.
Now, an interdisciplinary research revealed within the journal Scientific Stories has mixed a decade of sea otter remark with archaeological strategies to determine otters’ use of so-called anvil stones.
It discovered that in taking a random pattern from the piles of shells round anvil stones, there was a specific type of injury which may very well be attributed to sea otters.
“The shell breakage patterns present a novel method to distinguish mussels damaged by sea otters pounding on emergent anvils from these damaged by people or different animals,” defined Dr Natalie Uomini of the Max Planck Institute.
“For archaeologists who excavate previous human behaviour, it’s essential to have the ability to distinguish the proof of sea otter meals consumption from that of people.”
Jessica Fujii of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, mentioned: “Our research means that stationary anvil use might be detected in places beforehand inhabited by sea otters.
“This data may assist to doc previous sea otter presence and food plan in places the place they’re at the moment extirpated.
“Extra broadly, the restoration of previous animal behavioural traces helps us to grasp the evolution of behaviours like stone anvil use, which is uncommon within the animal kingdom and is extraordinarily uncommon in marine animals.
“We hope that this research establishes a brand new path for the rising subject of animal archaeology.”