Yolanda Fernandez Jalvo

Yolanda Fernandez Jalvo
The National Museum of Natural Sciences · Paleobiologia

PhD in Geology

About

160
Publications
68,279
Reads
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5,942
Citations
Citations since 2017
41 Research Items
2731 Citations
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
Additional affiliations
June 1999 - present
Spanish National Research Council
Position
  • Researcher
June 1996 - June 1999
Natural History Museum, London
Position
  • European Postdoctoral
January 1993 - December 1994
Université de Montpellier
Position
  • Postdoctoral FPI (MEC/MRE)

Publications

Publications (160)
Article
Full-text available
Diverse modifications of the original morphological features occur throughout the taphonomic history of osteological remains, which may lead in erroneous interpretations about the formation of an accumulation as well as taxonomic misidentifications. Here, we present a neo-taphonomic study in order to analyze and interpret the modifications generate...
Article
The regional climatic context in which Chalcolithic (MIR5) and Bronze Age (MIR4) levels from El Mirador cave (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain) are framed is affected by the 4.2 ka cal. BP event, a global event defined as a cooling and aridification phase. Previous works based on palaeoenvironmental inferences indicate conflicting results regardi...
Article
Salamanca cave (southern Mendoza province) is in the Andean piedmont, a transitional area in which small mammal communities may have been affected by climatic pulses. The site yields three archaeological components covering from the early to the late-Holocene with a mid-Holocene occupational and sedimen-tological hiatus. Taphonomic analyses of the...
Conference Paper
Limestone and derivatives (quicklime and hydrated lime) are commonly used in the agriculture and industry. Although the effects on bodies are not well defined, lime is also used in human burials. It is considered that lime reduces the smell of the putrefaction and it accelerates the decomposition, but it is believed that it helps to the conservatio...
Conference Paper
La Tafonomía se define como el estudio de la “transición de restos orgánicos desde la biosfera a la litosfera” (Efremov, 1940), aplicable a los estudios de Arqueología, Paleontología y, aunque poco habitual, en Antropología Biológica. Identificando los efectos tafonómicos en los restos cadavéricos, es posible inferir los agentes y procesos tafonómi...
Article
Pseudoryzomys simplex (Winge 1887) is a small to medium sized terrestrial oryzomyine rodent (Cricetidae, Sigmodontinae) widely distributed in humid environments of tropical and subtropical lowlands of South America with a marked rainy season. The occurrence of this species in the south-central Pampean region between 4700 and 200 ka cal BP was origi...
Article
The taphonomic study of two complete and anatomically connected individuals of Tapirus arvernensis from the Pliocene site of Camp dels Ninots (Caldes de Malavella, Spain) strengthens the attribution to a konservat-Lagerstätte deposit. The macroscopic analysis showed the absence of weathering, predation marks, and scarce superficial modification. Di...
Chapter
Humans evolved in the dynamic landscapes of Africa under conditions of pronounced climatic, geological and environmental change during the past 7 million years. This book brings together detailed records of the paleontological and archaeological sites in Africa that provide the basic evidence for understanding the environments in which we evolved....
Article
Full-text available
Fish taphonomy from archaeological sites provides considerable useful information about human behaviours and environmental contexts as potential food remains or as natural occurrences. This article focuses on mechanical deformations of fish vertebrae and the potential information about predation, diachrony in the deposition of the remains, and time...
Poster
Full-text available
After more than 30 years since the last palaeontological campaign (Alberdi et al. 1997), in 2018 excavations were resumed in the Middle Villafranchian (Upper Pliocene) fossil site of El Rincón-1 (Motilleja, Albacete, Southeastern Spain). Relevant information has been obtained regarding to the faunal remains, its taphonomy and its sedimentology. A t...
Article
Full-text available
Located at the crossroads between Africa, Europe and Asia, the Southern Caucasus is a prime location to study occupations by H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis and anatomically modern humans. Azokh Cave is an important site for the understanding of human evolution in its archaeological, palaeontological, environmental and ecological context. T...
Article
We have reassessed the palynological record of Equus Cave in the Savanna Biome of the southern Kalahari, one of the longest Late Quaternary pollen records for the semi-arid central interior of South Africa. We combined published pollen results from the cave, derived from hyena coprolites and the rubified deposits in which they occur, into a single...
Article
Full-text available
Experiments based on the premise of uniformitarism are an effective tool to establish patterns of taphonomic processes acting either before, or after, burial. One process that has been extensively investigated experimentally is the impact of trampling to large mammal bones. Since trampling marks caused by sedimentary friction strongly mimic cut mar...
Article
Full-text available
Rancho La Brea (California, USA) is the most emblematic Quaternary fossiliferous locality in the world, since both the high number and diversity of the specimens recovered and their excellent preservational quality. In the last decades, paleobiological and paleoecological knowledge of the different groups of mammals from this site has increased not...
Article
Full-text available
An experimental program of uniaxial compression forces on fresh and dry salmonid vertebrae of different sizes is presented to show what diagnostic features compression generates on these bones. The study found that diagnostic features exist, but their frequency often depends on size and the amount of fat that vertebrae contain when subjected to uni...
Article
The El Salt site (Alcoi, Alicante, Spain) is one of the latest Neanderthal sites in the south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. The disappearance of this human group is controversial and needs detailed studies from different research areas. Taphonomy is essential to establish how representative is a fossil assemblage of the past living organisms that prod...
Article
Wonderwerk Cave, in South Africa, is an exceptional site that has yielded a large collection of small mammal fossils in a stratigraphic sequence reaching back ca. 2 million years. Taphonomic studies undertaken to date, show that Tytonidae (likely Tyto alba) was the dominant predator during the Earlier Stone Age. They produced masses of pellets that...
Article
The apparently regular and favourable climate that characterizes the Holocene as an interglacial period shows, however, important climatic instability well documented in the Northern Hemisphere. These fluctuations from colder to warmer or wetter to drier affected both biodiversity and human societies in the last 12,000 years, although the impact in...
Article
Full-text available
Evidence and traces recorded on fossil bones, directly or indirectly produced by hominins, can shed light on multiple issues of importance in human evolution. For example, fossil bones bearing cut marks may indicate the presence of hominins despite the absence of hominin fossils. Moreover, cut marks on fossil bones are associated with the use of st...
Article
We have reassessed the palynological record of Equus Cave in the Savanna Biome of the southern Kalahari, one of the longest Late Quaternary pollen records for the semi-arid central interior of South Africa. We combined published pollen results from the cave, derived from hyena coprolites and the rubified deposits in which they occur, into a single...
Article
Full-text available
Megamammals constituted an important component in the Pleistocene faunal communities of South America. Paleobiological and paleoecological studies involving different megamammal taxa have increased significantly in the last years, but there are still several poorly-known issues of its life history. In this work, we analyze an assemblage composed of...
Article
Small sized felids, such as wild and domestic cats, are one of the most common predators in the nature and in sites occupied by humans in archaeological and historical contexts. Wildcats have ingestion/ digestion traits highly destructive for their prey, i.e.: teeth to chew causing extreme breakage, and digestion along the entire digestive tract wi...
Article
Actualistic studies have been commonly used as valid analogies in taphonomic research and, as the growing body of data demonstrate, have proved to be highly informative to explain the formation of terrestrial vertebrate fossil faunas. In Rosell et al. (2019), we conducted an experimental study with free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos arctos) wit...
Article
Full-text available
This is the full-text view-only version of the paper https://rdcu.be/bxdrj Fish bones are still an unknown tool in taphonomic studies. We have carried out several experiments which have shown that fish bones may provide key taphonomic traits. Fossil fish bones in archaeological sites (from caves to riverbanks or seashores) are frequently result of...
Article
Different agents can lead to similar damage patterns, and different causes can result in the same type of modification. This phenomenon was defined by Lyman (1987) as a problem of equifinality, with which the researcher warned about the risks of making direct systematic correlations. The fact that a specific type of damage cannot be linked to a sin...
Article
Spy Cave is one of the most iconic Pleistocene sites yielding two adult Neanderthal skeletons recovered in the 19th century. The cave is located in Belgium and is one of the most important sites for human evolution in European context. The remains of Spy definitively influenced the concept of Neanderthals as archaic fossil humans in relation to mod...
Article
Taphonomic studies dealing with small mammals do not usually consider bats. Therefore, the degree to which bat bones are modi? ed by predation and other taphonomic agents are largely unknown. Here we present the results obtained from a set of experiments developed to approach this issue, focusing initially on the e?ect of digestion. For this purpos...
Article
Full-text available
Most small terrestrial vertebrate accumulations in archaeological and palaeontological sites result from predation but we are far from having an exhaustive knowledge of modern predators’ diet, ecological niches and bone modification patterns especially in North African sites. The few neotaphonomic referentials available result from taxon-specialize...
Article
Full-text available
Feeding behaviors may differ between past and current predators due to differences in the environments inhabited by these species at different times. We provide an example of this behavioral variability in spotted hyena ( Crocuta crocuta ), for which our analysis of a late Pleistocene micromammal assemblage indicates that hyenas preyed upon small r...
Article
The understanding of hominin behavior is based on complex factors, frequently obtained from evidence left on the fossils themselves or on accompanying fauna. Fossil bones bearing traits of burning is a major technological innovation in human evolution and behavior. Fire helped hominins to increase their survival by using it as a defensive mechanism...
Article
The aim of this work is to study from a taphonomic view the small mammals assemblage located on the Pleistocene site known as PRERESA. The small mammal fossiliferous layer is a silt level located at a fluvial terrace. The samples studied included remains from rodents (Minimum Number of Elements: MNE = 373) and lagomorphs (MNE = 372). During the exc...
Article
Full-text available
Most small terrestrial vertebrate accumulations in archaeological and palaeontological sites result from predation but we are far from having an exhaustive knowledge of modern predators’ diet, ecological niches and bone modifcation patterns especially in North African sites. The few neotaphonomic referentials available result from taxon-specialized...
Article
Full-text available
Microstructural post mortem changes to skeletal tissues by microorganisms are driven by several factors including the death history of an animal, its decomposition trajectory, and the depositing environment itself. The study we describe here brings together material from recent and fossil contexts that are depositionally distinct from a terrestrial...
Article
Different taphonomic processes throughout the history of a fossil assemblage may preserve, modify or destroy, particular palaeobiological traits, but these processes always increase taphonomic information of the past. Similarly, fossils are affected during later stages of taphonomic history, i.e. excavation, preparation, study and storage of fossil...
Chapter
Full-text available
Azokh Cave (also known as Azikh or Azykh) contains Pleistocene and Holocene stratified sediment infill. The site was discovered by M. Huseinov (also named Guseinov by other authors) who led the previous phase of excavations. The geographic location of the site is at an important migratory route between Africa and Eurasia. The site has yielded Middl...
Chapter
Bone diagenesis is a set of processes by which the organic and mineral phases and the structure of bone are transformed during fossilization. To understand how these processes have affected skeletal material recovered from Azokh Caves (particularly the organic preservation), we measured ‘diagenetic parameters’ of skeletal material from Holocene, La...
Chapter
This chapter aims to describe the complete scenario that existed during the Middle Pleistocene in Azokh Caves and the Lesser Caucasus area from the evidence provided by the fossil assemblages recovered from excavations between 2002 and 2009. In the case of Azokh 1, taphonomic studies are particularly relevant since there is no such information from...
Chapter
During the 1960s to 1980s a human mandible, together with fossils of other animals and a lithic industry, were recovered from Units I to VI of Azokh Cave. After the year 2002, new excavations in Units I to V were undertaken. The new large mammal fossils are described and the fauna is revised, using part of the older collections. The only clear brea...
Chapter
Coprolites are fossil scats and provide indirect witness of the activity of past animals of a given area, whether or not fossil bones of these animals are present in the site. The shape, size, inclusions and geo- and bio-chemical composition are criteria for identification of the animal that left the coprolite. Unit II from Azokh 1 has yielded two...
Chapter
The fauna and flora from Azokh 1 are analyzed to provide evidence on past and present environments. The large mammal fauna was accumulated by carnivore and human agents, and it is dominated by woodland species. The small mammals, amphibians and reptiles were accumulated mainly by avian predators, barn owls and eagle owls which hunt over open areas,...
Chapter
Dating is basic for archaeological and paleontological investigations and results of different dating methods used in Azokh caves are described in this chapter. Fossils from Azokh were not dated by any method previously. Lithic technology and taxonomy suggested a middle Pleistocene age for Unit V (from where Acheulian industries and a human mandibl...
Article
The development of pyrotechnology is a hallmark of human history, providing our ancestors with warmth, security and cooked food. Evidence for fire use before 400 thousand years ago (kya) remains contentious due largely to the taphonomically fragile nature of charcoal and ash. As such, it is imperative to the study of prehistoric fire that we develo...
Book
This edited volume describes the geology, stratigraphy, anthropology, archaeology, dating, taphonomy, paleobotany, paleontology and paleoecology of Azokh caves (also known as Azykh or Azikh). The chapters review exhaustively the key recent research on this limestone karstic site, which is located near the village of the same name in the region of N...
Book
Full-text available
The aim of the atlas is to provide images of taphonomic modifications, making it as comprehensive as possible with evidence presently available. This volume is intended both as a field guide for identifying taphonomic modifications in the field, and for use in the laboratory when collections of fossils are being analyzed. Images in the book are a c...
Chapter
Pits are defined as superficial marks on the surfaces of bones, and perforations as marks that penetrate into the underlying tissue of the bones. Pits and perforations have lengths less than 4 times their breadth to distinguish them from linear marks (see Chap. 3).
Chapter
The images in this book were produced using a variety of procedures and methods. This chapter provides a summary and discussion of these procedures and the potential effects they have on the interpretations of fossil assemblages .
Chapter
Full-text available
Changes in color may indicate speed of burial, or exposure to environmental factors such as humic acids, oxygenated environment, burning or water.
Chapter
Full-text available
Breakage of vertebrate skeletal elements can be assessed both as fracture patterns and fragmentation.
Chapter
Corrosion and digestion are similar modifications but produced by different agents.
Chapter
Most simply put, taphonomy is the study of processes affecting the transition of the remains of past living organisms and their traces into the lithosphere as seen in the prehistoric record. It has many aspects, from processes affecting individual organisms to those affecting whole communities, but at its most basic level, the processes on which ta...
Chapter
Full-text available
Linear marks are defined as marks with lengths four times their breadths and longer.
Chapter
Cracking of the surfaces of bones and teeth is defined as the opening up of splits and cracks penetrating beneath the surface of the bone but without any obvious loss of surface tissue. It is caused by shrinkage of bone, which could be due to loss of water and/or organic matter.
Chapter
Abrasion is a general term that includes any degree of rounding or polishing of bones, whether broken ends of bones, processes that protrude from the general level of bone, or the complete bone.
Chapter
Degree of disarticulation and skeleton completeness can be measured in fossil assemblages to determine aspects of its taphonomic history (Todd and Frison 1992).
Chapter
Correct identification is crucial to the interpretation of how and why animal bone assemblages accumulate in archaeological and paleontological sites, but just as important is the interpretation placed on the identifications.
Article
Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Río Quípar overlooking the Río Quípar, a Río Segura tributary, is an upland rock-shelter 75 km north of the Mediterranean coast and 110 km west of the Segura river-mouth. It contains undisturbed sediment 5 m deep assigned by magnetostratigraphy to >0.78 Ma (Matuyama magnetochron). Optically stimulated sediment luminesce...
Article
Predation is one of the most recurrent sources of bone accumulations. The influence of predation is widely studied for large mammal sites where humans, acting as predators, produce bone accumulations similar to carnivore accumulations. Similarly, small mammal fossil sites are mainly occupation levels of predators (nests or dens). In both cases, inv...
Article
Full-text available
Control of fire was a hallmark of developing human cognition and an essential technology for the colonisation of cooler latitudes. In Europe, the earliest evidence comes from recent work at the site of Cueva Negra del Estrecho del RIo Quípar in south-eastern Spain. Charred and calcined bone and thermally altered chert were recovered from a deep, 0....
Article
Full-text available
Wonderwerk Cave has produced exceptionally large micromammalian samples that provides a range of information pertaining to taphonomy, and prey-predator ecology, which will improve the precision of environmental interpretation. Here, we examine these aspects for mid-Pleistocene strata 12 and 11, and conclude from the taphonomic evidence that the mai...
Article
Full-text available
Critical transformation and degradation of skeletal tissues most frequently affect their organic components while the mineral component of bones and fossils comprises one of the most stable mineral groups on Earth: the apatites. The case we present here relates to fossil bones from palaeolake-shores whose shapes are preserved within the sediment it...
Article
Pellets of raptors are an important source for the study of the taxonomy, phylogeography and ecological diversity of small vertebrates. Since birds of prey are efficient collecting agents for both rare species and those reluctant to enter traps, they offer an important complement to traditional trapping efforts in the field. The possibility of usin...
Article
Coprolites are often used in African archaeological sites as archives for proxies like pollen, which are trapped and preserved inside them. Investigating pollen taphonomy, here we aim to aid interpretations of local and regional vegetation changes by assessing dietary and other pollen sources of fresh hyaena scats from the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve (...
Article
Full-text available
A characteristic aquatic bioerosion, which peripherally penetrates the bone cortex, has previously been described from the 7-million-year-old Cerro de la Garita calcareous lakeshore site (Concud, Teruel, Spain). This site has also yielded body fossils that appear to have been partly or entirely replaced by a delicate, white ‘crumbly substance’ that...
Article
The origin of most fossil small mammal assemblages is predation by avian or mammalian predators. Bone corrosion by gastric juices observed in these fossils is direct evidence of digestion, and traits of digestion indicate the type of predator involved. However, certain features observed in digested bones, such as rounding and polishing, are similar...
Article
Lakeshore sites such as Cerro de la Garita (Miocene of Teruel, Spain) and Senèze (Pliocene of Haute-Loire, France) yielded fossils with distinct puncture marks. These marks were described as “punctures surrounded by plastically deformed bone”, and were proposed to have been caused by compression or trampling on bones against coarse sediment grain w...