Abstract

Twenty-two pairs of radiocarbon dates on driftwood and bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) bones from raised beaches, dates on whale bone and terrestrial plant detritus from a stratigraphie section, and 25 additional dates on whale bones from the lowest (≤1 ka BP) raised beaches in the eastern Canadian Arctic suggest that a marine reservoir correction of about −200 years is appropriate for normalized age determinations on bone collagen from the bowhead whale in this region. This is less than the correction (−400 years) normally applied to carbonate shells of marine molluscs from this region. The carbon in bowhead collagen appears to be derived from the whales' zooplankton food rather than from marine bicarbonate.

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