One central aspect of an organism’s biology is its life history, which can be inferred from the analysis of bone and dental microstructure. Similarly, knowing what an animal fed on can be inferred from tooth microwear. Both life history and diet provide information on the environmental context in which a particular individual lived.
In the doctoral thesis defended today, Guillem Orlandi, analyzes these parameters in the hipparionins, a group of tridactyl equids greately diversified in the circummediterranean area during the Miocene in order is to elucidate the ecological conditions and mechanisms that accompanied dwarfing in western and eastern Mediterranean hipparionins. He concludes that, in the western hipparionins, dwarfing was led by lower resource availability, while in the Eastern ones its size decrease was triggered by higher depredation.
The doctoral thesis, entitled "Life history and ecology of late Miocene hipparionins from the circum-Mediterranean area" has been directed by Meike Köhler, head of the research group in Evolutionary Paleobiology at ICP. The comittee awarded him with the highest possible score: excellent.