Gildas Merceron

Gildas Merceron
French National Centre for Scientific Research | CNRS · iPHEP, UMR 7262, CNRS & Université de Poitiers

PhD in Vertebrate Paleontology

About

165
Publications
38,884
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
4,265
Citations
Additional affiliations
November 2012 - present
CNRS, Université de Poitiers
Position
  • CNRS Researcher
October 2008 - October 2012
French National Centre for Scientific Research
Position
  • CNRS Researcher
March 2008 - October 2008
Naturhistorisches Museum Wien
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Granted through a Lise Meitner fellowship by the FWF Austria

Publications

Publications (165)
Article
Full-text available
Discoveries in recent decades indicate that the large papionin monkeys Paradolipo-pithecus and Procynocephalus are key members of the Late Pliocene-Early Pleisto-cene mammalian faunas of Eurasia. However, their taxonomical status, phylogenetic relationships, and ecological profile remain unclear. Here we investigate the two latter aspects through t...
Article
Full-text available
Serows and gorals (Bovidae, Caprinae) are emblematic antelopes distributed in Southeast Asia. They all are nearly threaten or vulnerable species nowadays despite having a more widespread distribution during the Pleistocene. Fossils of three native caprine species, i.e., a Sumatran serow Capricornis sumatraensis, Chinese goral Naemorhedus griseus, a...
Article
Full-text available
Serows and gorals (Bovidae, Caprinae) are emblematic antelopes distributed in Southeast Asia. They all are nearly threaten or vulnerable species nowadays despite having a more widespread distribution during the Pleistocene. Fossils of three native caprine species, i.e., a Sumatran serow Capricornis sumatraensis , Chinese goral Naemorhedus griseus ,...
Article
The late Miocene is a period of increasing aridity and habitat openness in the south-eastern Mediterranean region. The impact of these changes has not been fully explored regarding rhinocerotids’ ecology, although rhinoceroses were a major and diverse component of the Miocene mammalian faunas. Here, we investigate the palaeoecology of rhinocerotid...
Article
Currently, very little is known about the ecology of extinct Eurasian cercopithecids. Dietary information is crucial in understanding the ecological adaptations and diversity of extinct cercopithecids and the evolution of this family. For example, the colobine genus Dolichopithecus is represented by multiple large-bodied species that inhabited Eura...
Preprint
Full-text available
Major climatic and ecological changes are documented in terrestrial ecosystems during the Miocene epoch. The Rhinocerotidae are a very interesting clade to investigate the impact of these changes on ecology, as they are abundant and diverse in the fossil record throughout the Miocene. Here, we explored the spatio-temporal evolution of rhinocerotids...
Article
Full-text available
The adaptive radiation of hipparionins after their Old World dispersal was linked with a trend towards smaller body sizes. The appearance of the small-sized forms has usually been associated to open environments and grazing diets. A recent approach, moreover, highlights the role of life history modifications related to habitat conditions as trigger...
Article
The climatic cooling that began in the late middle Eocene and culminated in the Eocene-Oligocene transition meant major changes in Palaeotheriidae (Perissodactyla, Mammalia) biodiversity in Europe and could have caused the appearance of new dietary strategies. This work is the first to study the spatiotemporal response of one palaeotheriid genus (P...
Article
In order to understand mammalian evolution and compute a wide range of biodiversity indices, we commonly use the ‘bioregion’, a spatial division adapted to ecological and evolutionary constraints. While commonly conducted by neontologists, the establishment of bioregions in palaeontology is generally a secondary analysis, shaped on subjective time...
Article
Dietary habits exert significant selective pressures on anatomical structures in animals, leading to substantial morphological adaptations. Yet, the relationships between the mandible and diet are still unclear, raising issues for paleodietary reconstructions notably. To assess the impact of food hardness and size on morphological structures, we us...
Article
Material properties of the diet of extant species is reflected by the microwear texture recorded on the enamel tooth surface, a signal that can be useful for estimating the diets of extinct species. Intra-specific dietary variations can occur between sexes or depend on seasonal vegetation cover changes in their habitat. However, these factors canno...
Article
The Shungura Formation (Lower Omo Valley, Ethiopia) constitutes one of the most complete stratigraphic and paleontological records for the Plio-Pleistocene of eastern Africa and has yielded a large collection of fossil bovids, in which the most abundant tribe is Reduncini (waterbucks, kobs, and relatives). We used a multi-proxy approach to precisel...
Article
Years of studies have already highlighted the complex combination, in moose feeding ecology, of a marked selectivity coupled with a significant dietary adaptability toward changes in the local resource availability. Dental textures resulting from masticatory movements and the properties of ingested food items constitute a link between the animal, i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Milk production and excretion may drive sex specific differences in body calcium (Ca) isotope composition, as evidenced by sheep bones collected within a single herd [1]. Such differences between sexes are however not observed in human populations [2], raising questions about Ca isotope fractionation mechanisms in mammals. We investigated this issu...
Article
This study aims at improving dietary discrimination among primates through a new analytic approach of dental microwear texture analysis integrating a surface sampling on facets of both phase I and II of mastication. The surface sampling is applied on these two types of molar facets on 104 specimens belonging to four extant cercopithecids, and on 20...
Article
Extant colobine monkeys are specialized leaf eaters. But during the late Miocene, western Eurasia was home to colobines which were less efficient at chewing leaves than they were at breaking seed shells. To understand the link between folivory and granivory in this lineage, the dietary niche of Mesopithecus delsoni and M. pentelicus was investigate...
Article
The thick-enameled, bunodont dentition shared by most early hominins has traditionally been interpreted as reflecting durophagy, especially in the robust genus Paranthropus. However, subsequent works on dental microwear textures (DMT) and biogeochemical compositions have challenged this hypothesis. Some authors argued that their robust morphology m...
Article
There are clues that calcium (Ca) isotope composition of vertebrate bioapatite is influenced by diet and trophic level. These clues however conflict with several cases of mammal species exhibiting Ca isotope compositions which are inconsistent with their trophic levels. These observations support that diet may not be the only factor driving the Ca...
Article
Paleobiologists tend to use dietary information as an ecological indicator because diet is a fundamental link between an organism and its environment. However, the ecological information from fossilized hard tissues is often difficult to interpret, because links between environment, diet, and hard tissue biology are insufficiently studied in modern...
Article
Full-text available
This paper aims to contribute to the stratigraphic and geochronological evaluation of the primate bearing Dafnero fossil site of Northern Greece by means of lithostratigraphic, paleomagnetic and paleontological analyses. The 60 m thick fossiliferous deposits of fluviatile origin are recognized as representing a typical braided-river sequence unconf...
Article
A new sample of 65 specimens representing a minimum number of 15 individuals of the Eurasian antelope Gazellospira torticornis is described from the Lower Pleistocene fossil sites of Dafnero (DFN, N. Greece). The intrapopulation comparisons highlight that several cranial (frontal sinuses, inter-frontal sutures, longitudinal grooves, degree of the h...
Data
This document presents the code, data and analysis used in the paper ‘From leaves to seeds: The dietary shift in late Miocene colobine monkeys of southeastern Europe’ co-authored by Ghislain THIERY, Corentin GIBERT, Franck GUY, Vincent LAZZARI, Nikolaï SPASSOV, Denis GERAADS and Gildas MERCERON. Its objective was to investigate the origins of the e...
Article
In Pincevent (Paris Basin), archeaozoologists have observed a variation of hunting strategies between Magdalenian levels IV0 and IV20. Previous works on human‐prey interaction showed that hunters modeled their behavior on their prey; therefore, reconstructing animal behavior in order to reconstruct human strategies could enable better interpretatio...
Article
The homotheres, although known from the Greek fossil record since the beginning of the 1930’s, have only been recorded from fragmentary material, sometimes undescribed and with questionable determinations. In 2017, the discovery of an almost complete cranium and a fairly complete humerus of a machairodontine in Dafnero-3, a lower Pleistocene site f...
Article
Full-text available
We here report on fossil remains of the earliest known crown-Testudo, an extant clade of Mediterranean testudinid tortoises from the late Miocene (Vallesian, MN 10) from the hominoid locality Ravin de la Pluie (RPl) in Greece. The material studied is a small, nearly complete carapace with a clearly distinct hypo-xiphiplastral hinge. This supports t...
Article
The Serra do Mar Atlantic forest (Brazil) shelters about 15 different species of caviomorph rodents and thus represents a unique opportunity to explore resource partitioning. We studied 12 species with distinct diets using dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA). Our results revealed differences (complexity, textural fill volume, and heterogeneity...
Poster
Full-text available
Poster for the PhD Students' Day at the Institut des Sicences de l'Evolution de Montpellier (ISE-M). During amelogenesis (enamel formation) stops may occur and lead to the formation of defects when a certain threshold is met (Figure 1; Goodman and Rose, 1990). One of these defects, hypoplasia, is quantitative, non- specific, and permanent. Hypopl...
Article
Rhinoceroses were conspicuous elements in Cenozoic ecosystems, and studying the ecological behavior of extant species might unravel the ecology of their fossil kin. Microwear as a short-term recorder may detect subtle variations in the diet. Dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA) is extensively used to infer paleodiets. Yet, regarding ungulates,...
Presentation
Full-text available
With about 250 fossil species, rhinoceroses were conspicuous elements in Cenozoic ecosystems and studying the ecological behavior of the five extant species might unravel the ecology of their fossil kin, through uniformitarianism. Dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA) – a short-term recorder of dental abrasion – is extensively used to infer pale...
Presentation
Antelope remains are abundant in the African fossil record, and have previously been used in paleoenvironmental reconstructions. Antelope species are widespread along the grazer-browser dietary spectrum, and can therefore provide information on local paleoenvironments by evaluating which species are present, and which dietary categories are most re...
Article
Full-text available
A new study by Fraser et al (2018) urges the use of phylogenetic comparative methods, whenever possible, in analyses of mammalian tooth wear. We are concerned about this for two reasons. First, this recommendation may mislead the research community into thinking that phylogenetic signal is an artifact of some sort rather than a fundamental outcome...
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to explore the feeding ecology of two terrestrial papionins, Papio and Theropithecus from the Shungura Formation in Ethiopia, the most complete stratigraphic and paleontological record of the African Plio-Pleistocene. Two aspects were evaluated using Dental Microwear Texture Analysis: differences in diet between the extinct genera a...
Article
Full-text available
Modern surface acquisition devices, such as interferometers and confocal microscopes, make it possible to have accurate three-dimensional (3D) numerical representations of real surfaces. The numerical dental surfaces hold details that are related to the microwear that is caused by food processing. As there are numerous surface parameters that descr...
Conference Paper
The Plio-Pleistocene fossil record of African suids documents repeated convergent instances of progressive changes in third molar morphologies (increases in crown length and height). Based on uniformitarianism, those changes were classically interpreted as adaptive responses to herbivory in more and more open landscapes resulting from global climat...
Presentation
Modern caviomorphs or South American hystricognathous rodents exhibit a great taxonomical and ecological diversity,with a broad spectrum of dietary habits, ranging from frugivorous to grass eaters. Their oldest record dates back to the late middle Eocene from Peruvian Amazonia. Continuous paleontological field efforts have substantially increased t...
Article
Environmental changes related to forest expansion and later to agricultural development and deforestation during the Holocene in Europe have strongly shaped herbivore distribution and habitat selection, leading to species extinction. In this paper, we examine, through dental microwear textural analysis, the foraging habitats, dietary flexibility an...
Article
A new fossil cranium of a large papionin monkey from the Lower Pleistocene site of Dafnero-3 in Western Macedonia, Greece, is described by means of outer and inner morphological and metric traits using high-resolution micro-computed tomography. Comparisons with modern cercopithecids and contemporaneous Eurasian fossil taxa suggest that the new cran...
Article
Today, the family Giraffidae is restricted to two genera endemic to the African continent, Okapia and Giraffa, but, with over ten genera and dozens of species, it was far more diverse in the Old World during the late Miocene. We attempt to describe here how several species may have shared feeding resources in the Eastern Mediterranean. Dietary pref...
Article
The reconstruction of past vegetation and climatic conditions of the Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng Province, South Africa, has been approached using various proxies (such as micromammals, speleothems, faunal and floral presence and stable carbon isotopes). Elisabeth Vrba's seminal studies (1974; 1975) on the fossil record of this region indicated dr...
Article
Camels are exceptionally rare in the Plio-Pleistocene fossil record of Africa, hindering attempts to understand the evolution of this family on the continent. Here we describe recently collected camel specimens from the Shungura Formation, Lower Omo Valley, Ethiopia, and attribute these remains to Camelus grattardi. The new specimens date to the la...
Article
Full-text available
Percher AM, Merceron G, Nsi Akoue G, Galbany J, Romero A, Charpentier MJ. Dental microwear textural analysis as an analytical tool to depict individual traits and reconstruct the diet of a primate. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2017;00:1–16. Objectives: Dental microwear is a promising tool to reconstruct animals' diet because it reflects the interplay bet...
Article
A new fossil cranium of a large papionin monkey from the Lower Pleistocene site of Dafnero-3 in Western Macedonia, Greece, is described by means of outer and inner morphological and metric traits using high-resolution micro-computed tomography. Comparisons with modern cercopithecids and contemporaneous Eurasian fossil taxa suggest that the new cran...
Article
Full-text available
Here, we present a short review of the most recent results that have come out of the TRIDENT project. This project aims to model tooth wear by performing controlled food testing on sheep. This approach offers us the opportunity to test various scientific questions which colleagues, working exclusively on fossil and modern wild species, have been un...
Article
Tooth wear and, more specifically, dental microwear texture is a dietary proxy that has been used for years in vertebrate paleoecology and ecology. DMTA, dental microwear texture analysis, relies on a few parameters related to the surface complexity, anisotropy and heterogeneity of the enamel facets at the micrometric scale. Working with few but ph...
Article
Extant colobine monkeys have been historically described as specialized folivores. However, reports on both their behavior and dental metrics tend to ascribe a more varied diet to them. In particular, several species, such as Pygathrix nemaeus and Rhinopithecus roxellana, are dedicated seasonal seed eaters. They use the lophs on their postcanine te...
Article
The early Pleistocene is represented by a succession of glacial–interglacial cycles characterized by a general tendency towards global cooling, with increasing aridity and seasonality. The large deer Eucladoceros is found in abundance in Europe during this period of faunal dispersions. The dietary plasticity of Eucladoceros and how it can mirror ea...
Poster
Full-text available
From a form-function perspective, the occlusal morphology of mammalian teeth results from a compromise between dental occlusion and the necessity to dealwith food. More precisely, general morphology guides lower teeth when they occlude with upper teeth, while fine morphology, akin to "dental tools", reduces and fragments the food.These dental tools...
Article
Full-text available
The rich fossiliferous locality of Rudabánya (Hungary) is dated to the Vallesian (late Miocene, MN 9). It contains several taxa of the order Carnivora. The aim of the present paper is to describe remains belonging to a new genus and species of Ursidae, Miomaci panonnicum. It is represented by upper and lower teeth which are compared to other Miocen...
Poster
Full-text available
Analysis of the external morphological features and the inner structures i.e. the maxillary sinuses of a recently discovered cercopithecine cranium from the lower Pleistocene locality of Dafnero 3 (DFN3), NorthWest Greece, ascribed to either Procynocephalus or Paradolichopithecus.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We report on the earliest modern Testudo from the late Miocene (Vallesian, MN 10) of the hominoid locality, Ravin de la Pluie (RPl), Greece. The material corresponds to a small nearly complete carapace owning a well distinct hypo-xiphiplastral hinge, which supports the sensu stricto generic assignment. This new terrestrial testudinid specimen is ch...
Article
Full-text available
The study of dental wear was first used years ago to infer the palaeoecology of fossil mammals and in particular their diet. Results depend predominantly on the scale of the analysis used. Analyses of dental macrowear, mesowear or microwear do not provide the same type of dietary information, be it about the seasonal, annual or lifetime diet. This...