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The capybara, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris Mammalia Rodentia, found at the archaeological site SC PRV 02, Santa Catarina Island, Brasil A capivara, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris Mammalia, Rodentia, no sitio arqueologico SC PRV 02, Ilha de Santa Catarina - Santa Catarina



The capybara, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris Mammalia Rodentia, found at the archaeological site SC PRV 02, Santa Catarina Island, Brasil A capivara, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris Mammalia, Rodentia, no sitio arqueologico SC PRV 02, Ilha de Santa Catarina - Santa Catarina



Biotemas. novembro; 182: 202-218



Santa Catarina Island possesses dozens of archeological sites where the skeletal remains of a great array of animals can be found. The goal of this study was to quantify the skeletal remains of capybaras found at the archeological site SC PRV 02 (1067 to 1735 BP), located in the northern part of the island, along the shores of Lagoa da Conceicao, a saltwater lagoon. Thirty-seven skeletal fragments of at least 12 different individuals were identified. The anatomic regions of the capybaras most sought-after by pre-colonial inhabitants were the anterior and posterior limbs. About 40% of the skeletal fragments did not show any epiphyseal fusion with the shaft. Approximately 48% of the fragments found presented evidence of human activity. Our analyses suggest that capybaras played an important role in the diet of these inhabitants and that they were also used for the confection of different functional goods. We diagnosed the manipulation techniques used to obtain these goods, such as percussion and transversal section. The evidence of carbonization and superficial incisions indicates dismembering, preparation, and consumption of capybaras for feeding. Similar techniques were found at other archeological sitesof the same age, suggesting that even though pre-colonial inhabitants of the island were considered to be fishermen, capybaras represented a well-appreciated resource.

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