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Isotopic biogeochemistry ( (super 13) C, (super 18) O) of mammalian enamel from African Pleistocene hominid sites

Herve Bocherens, Paul L. Koch, Andre Mariotti, Denis Geraads and Jean-Jacques Jaeger
Isotopic biogeochemistry ( (super 13) C, (super 18) O) of mammalian enamel from African Pleistocene hominid sites (in Skeletal records of ecologic change, Douglas S. Jones (editor))
Palaios (August 1996) 11 (4): 306-318


The carbon and oxygen isotope composition of carbonate in enamel hydroxylapatite can provide information on photosynthetic pathways of plants at the base of food webs, and on hydrological conditions. Retrieval of palaeoenuironmental information from isotopic composition of vertebrate fossils is complicated by potential diagenetic overprinting. In this study, alteration has been assessed by examining the extent to which expected biological carbon and oxygen isotope patterns are disrupted in fossils of species whose diets can be independently predicted by other criteria. The biological patterns used are 1) the differences in carbon isotope composition between grazers and browsers, and 2) the differences in oxygen isotope composition between hippopotamus and terrestrial herbivores. Results obtained on enamel samples from Tighenif (Algeria, nearly equal 700,000 yr), Melka-Kunture (Ethiopia, 0.7-1.5 myr), and Anabo Koma (Djibouti, nearly equal 1.6 myr) suggest that in vivo carbon and oxygen isotope compositions are preserved in most cases. Moreover, in all three regions, modern patterns of C (sub 3) versus C (sub 4) grass dominance were present within the Pleistocene.

ISSN: 0883-1351
Serial Title: Palaios
Serial Volume: 11
Serial Issue: 4
Title: Isotopic biogeochemistry ( (super 13) C, (super 18) O) of mammalian enamel from African Pleistocene hominid sites
Title: Skeletal records of ecologic change
Affiliation: Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, Laboratoire de Biogeochimie Isotopique, Paris, France
Affiliation: University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL, United States
Pages: 306-318
Published: 199608
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 95
Accession Number: 1999-027791
Categories: Vertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 4 tables, sketch maps
N19°00'00" - N37°00'00", W09°00'00" - E12°00'00"
N10°49'60" - N12°49'60", E41°40'00" - E43°30'00"
N03°25'00" - N18°00'00", E33°00'00" - E48°00'00"
S04°30'00" - N04°30'00", E34°00'00" - E42°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Princeton University, USA, United StatesUniversite Montpellier II, FRA, France
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 199910
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