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Stable isotope analysis of carnivores from the Turkana Basin, Kenya: Evidence for temporally-mixed fossil assemblages
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London.ORCID-id: 0000-0001-8138-3813
Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Utah.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-3590-294X
Institute for Studies in Landscape and Human Evolution, Faculty of Science and Technology, Bournemouth University.ORCID-id: 0000-0001-8460-7747
Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Enheten för paleobiologi.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-9586-4017
Vise andre og tillknytning
2022 (engelsk)Inngår i: Quaternary International, ISSN 1040-6182, E-ISSN 1873-4553, Vol. 650, s. 12-27Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) In press
Abstract [en]

Stable isotope palaeoecology of fossil mammals is a key research tool for understanding the environmental context of hominin evolution in the Plio-Pleistocene of Africa. Well studied mammal groups include bovids, suids, equids, proboscideans and primates, but to date there has been no in-depth study of modern and fossil carnivores. Here we produce an Africa-wide oxygen and carbon enamel isotope dataset for modern carnivores and compare it with fossil carnivore data sampled from the Plio-Pleistocene Omo Group of the Turkana Basin, Kenya. Comparison of modern carnivore carbon isotopes with satellite images of land cover indicates that carnivore δ13C is related to the proportion of woody cover in the local environment. Modern carnivore oxygen isotopes are strongly influenced by the δ18O of meteoric water, through drinking from standing water and through prey body fluids. Carbon isotope data from fossil carnivores shows close agreement with palaeovegetation reconstructions from δ13C of palaeosol carbonates from the same geological Members, and a similar long-term trend in δ13C values through time (4 Ma to 1 Ma), reflecting a gradual increase in the proportion of C4 grasses in the Turkana Basin. This increase in the δ13C of large carnivores is consistent with the evidence from other mammalian groups for an increase in the proportion of grazers compared to browsers and mixed feeders during this time interval. Two distinct trends within oxygen versus carbon isotope space indicates that the fossil carnivores lived during two distinct climatic regimes – one in which palaeo-lake Turkana was freshwater, and one in which the lake resembled its modern-day hyperalkaline state. These two climatic states most likely represent the end-members of precessionally-driven rainfall extremes over the Ethiopian Highlands. This indicates that each studied faunal assemblage from the Omo Group is a time- and climate-averaged palimpsest; this has significant implications for the interpretation of environmental signals and community palaeoecology derived from Turkana Basin fossil mammals, including early hominins.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2022. Vol. 650, s. 12-27
Emneord [en]
Carnivora, Stable isotopes, Turkana basin, Pliocene, Pleistocene, Kenya
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Naturmiljö och människan; Den föränderliga jorden
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-4754DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2022.04.004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-4754DiVA, id: diva2:1654077
Forskningsfinansiär
Swedish Research Council, 2015–04587
Merknad

PJH would like to thank the Palaeontological Association for financial support and Anne-Lise Jourdan for technical support at the University College London BEIF lab. TEC was supported by the US National Science Foundation (NSF-1740383) and the FH Brown Presidential Chair Fund. LW was supported by the Swedish Research Council (2015–04587). Logistical support of both the National Museums of Kenya and the Turkana Basin Institute is gratefully acknowledged by TEC, FKM, OM, and LNL. Laurence Frank and Bruce Patterson collected many of the modern carnivore specimens and those collections were accessioned by the National Museums of Kenya.

Tilgjengelig fra: 2022-04-26 Laget: 2022-04-26 Sist oppdatert: 2023-12-06bibliografisk kontrollert

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Hopley, Philip J.Cerling, Thure E.Crété, LucileWerdelin, Lars
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