Interactions Between Humans and Endemic Canids in Holocene South America




Stahl, Peter W.

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Journal of Ethnobiology


Humans inhabiting South America during early portions of the Holocene variably interacted with native foxes (Family Canidae) in different parts of the continent at a time when there is little firm evidence for the presence of domesticated dogs (Canis familiaris). Preserved specimens of native fox tend to be ubiquitous in early archaeological contexts for which we have associated archaeofaunal samples. In a few cases these include association with human interments. The foxes endemic to these regions are predisposed to broad-spectrum diets, opportunistic behaviors and a tolerance of a wide range of habitats, particularly in open settings with increased resource supply. This can underlie a tendency for fox species to habituate themselves to anthropogenic conditions and humans. Indigenous South Americans may have formed early, and at times intimate, connections with endemic canids which endure into the present.



Zooarchaeology, Early Holocene, South America, human-fox interactions


Stahl, Peter W. (2012). Interactions Between Humans and Endemic Canids in Holocene South America. Journal of Ethnobiology, 32(1), 108-127.