Morphometric variation of reindeer remains (Rangifer tarandus Linnaeus, 1758) from late Pleistocene cave localities in Poland

Krzysztof Stefaniak, Teresa Piskorska, Anna Witkowska, Piotr Wojtal


The paper deals with the morphometric analysis of remains of the reindeer Rangifer tarandus Linnaeus, 1758 from 20 Late Pleistocene cave localities in Poland. In most of the localities, the species was the most abundant component of the large mammal fauna; the remains came from individuals, killed by predators, including man. The measurements of the remains were compared with those of reindeer from localities in Germany, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia. The measurements of the reindeer from Poland were intermediate between the smaller and more slender reindeer from north-western Europe and the larger reindeer from southern and eastern Europe; the antlers from the localities studied mainly represented the tundra form of Rangifer tarandus. The forest form of the species was represented by a few antlers. With respect to the ages of individuals, the reindeer from the Polish sites belonged to the age classes of under 2 years, 5–6 years and 6–7 years.

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