Multi-tissue analysis of oxygen isotopes in wild rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)

Chenery, Carolyn A.; Lamb, Angela L.; O'Regan, Hannah J.; Elton, Sarah. 2011 Multi-tissue analysis of oxygen isotopes in wild rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Rapid communications in mass spectrometry, 25 (6). 779-788.

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Oxygen isotopes in animal tissues are directly related to body water composition and thus the environment. Accurate measurement of animal tissue δ18O provides information about local climate, an animal's geographical origin and subsequent movements, with wide applications in palaeobiology and forensic science. The genesis and evolution of tissue-based oxygen isotopes within species and within individuals are complex. We present the first data, for non-human primates, rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), on the relationship between oxygen isotope sources in bio-apatite (PO4 and PCO3) and hair taken from six sample sites in Asia, ranging from western India to northern Vietnam. The range of values is similar within each tissue type, with good correlation between tissues (r = 0.791 to 0.908), allowing cross-tissue extrapolations. This is important when the availability of suitable tissues is limited. Biological interpretation of the small data set is difficult: macaque diets are eclectic, and the samples are from various locations. However, factors such as overall climate, precipitation quantity and source, and altitude are clearly influencing the results for each discrete geographical grouping. Future work could be aimed at assessing δ18O tissue associations for other species as the relationships appear to be species-specific.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > NERC Isotope Geoscience Laboratory
Date made live: 17 Mar 2011 09:35 +0 (UTC)

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