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Journal Articles Earth and Planetary Science Letters Year : 2013

What does the oxygen isotope composition of rodent teeth record?


Oxygen isotope compositions of tooth phosphate (δ18Op) were measured in 107 samples defined on the basis of teeth obtained from 375 specimens of extant rodents. These rodents were sampled from pellets collected in Europe from 38°N (Portugal) to 65°N (Finland) with most samples coming from sites located in France and Spain. Large oxygen isotopic variability in δ18Op is observed both at the intra- and inter-species scale within pellets from a given location. This isotopic variability is partly explained by heterochrony in tooth formation related to the short time of mineralization for all rodent species as well as the duration of mineralization that is species-dependent. Consequently, tooth phosphate of rodents records a short seasonal interval in the oxygen isotope compositions of meteoric waters (δ18Omw). In addition, inter-species isotopic variability observed in the same pellets suggests behavioural differences implying distinct isotopic compositions for species living in the same location. At the scale of Europe, a robust linear oxygen isotope fractionation equation was determined for Muroidea between the midrange δ18Op values and δ18Omw values: δ18Op=1.21(±0.20)δ18Omw+24.76(±2.70) with R2=0.79 (n=9; p<0.0001).

Dates and versions

hal-00778126 , version 1 (18-01-2013)



Aurélien Royer, Christophe Lécuyer, Sophie Montuire, Romain Amiot, Serge Legendre, et al.. What does the oxygen isotope composition of rodent teeth record?. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2013, 361, pp.258-271. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2012.09.058⟩. ⟨hal-00778126⟩
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