Re: Isotope Analysis

Mike Muller (
Sat, 06 Jul 1996 20:30:54 -0400

Correction....isotope analysis has only been done on anatomically modern
humans remains. No australopithecine, erectus, ergatser or neandertal
remains have been sampled to date. This reluctance has been due to the
detruction of the fossil. There is a new laser ablation technique that is
being perfected to perform isotope analysis that will leave a hole so
small it takes a SEM to see it. I am hoping to promote the use of this
new technique.

Yes the use of carbon isotopes can provide evidence of dietary changes.
Also the 18O in tooth enamel is being researched as a quantitative
archive for continental paleoclimate. I am currently doing research
using 1.8 myo Equus teeth and Mercinaria shells to sample for the 18O in
the enamel and shell carbonate. The results will determine the
seasonality in Florida during this time period I will also be able to
see the effects of evaporation on the 18O levels in high and low
residence water resources. If you want more info e-mail me and I can
provide references. Holly