A year in the life of a giant ground sloth during the Last Glacial Maximum in Belize

Jean T. Larmon, H. Gregory Mcdonald, Stanley Ambrose, Larisa R. G. Desantis, Lisa J. Lucero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Stable isotope analysis of the first fossilized Eremotherium laurillardi remains from Belize offers valuable insights into the conditions within which this individual lived and its ability to adapt to the increasing aridity of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Cathodoluminescence (CL) microscopy was used to identify chemical alteration of the tooth during fossilization. Results demonstrate that the inner orthodentin resists diagenesis, yielding potentially unaltered values. Using an intensive “vacuum milling” technique, the inner orthodentin produced an accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) date of 26,975 ± 120 calibrated years before the present. The stable carbon and oxygen isotope analysis of this layer shows that the tooth recorded two wet seasons separated by one longer dry season and that this sloth was able to adapt its diet to the marked seasonality of the LGM. This study offers new insights into obtaining reliable isotope data from fossilized remains and suggests that this individual adapted to climate shifts, contributing to the conversation surrounding megafauna extinction.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereaau1200
JournalScience Advances
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

Fingerprint

Last Glacial Maximum
tooth
stable isotope
chemical alteration
fossilization
cathodoluminescence
accelerator mass spectrometry
aridity
wet season
diagenesis
seasonality
carbon isotope
oxygen isotope
dry season
microscopy
extinction
isotope
diet
climate
analysis

Cite this

A year in the life of a giant ground sloth during the Last Glacial Maximum in Belize. / Larmon, Jean T.; Mcdonald, H. Gregory; Ambrose, Stanley; Desantis, Larisa R. G.; Lucero, Lisa J.

In: Science Advances, Vol. 5, No. 2, eaau1200, 01.02.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Larmon, Jean T. ; Mcdonald, H. Gregory ; Ambrose, Stanley ; Desantis, Larisa R. G. ; Lucero, Lisa J. / A year in the life of a giant ground sloth during the Last Glacial Maximum in Belize. In: Science Advances. 2019 ; Vol. 5, No. 2.
@article{bcd4d45f01be4cc8878ceac08cba25d3,
title = "A year in the life of a giant ground sloth during the Last Glacial Maximum in Belize",
abstract = "Stable isotope analysis of the first fossilized Eremotherium laurillardi remains from Belize offers valuable insights into the conditions within which this individual lived and its ability to adapt to the increasing aridity of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Cathodoluminescence (CL) microscopy was used to identify chemical alteration of the tooth during fossilization. Results demonstrate that the inner orthodentin resists diagenesis, yielding potentially unaltered values. Using an intensive “vacuum milling” technique, the inner orthodentin produced an accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) date of 26,975 ± 120 calibrated years before the present. The stable carbon and oxygen isotope analysis of this layer shows that the tooth recorded two wet seasons separated by one longer dry season and that this sloth was able to adapt its diet to the marked seasonality of the LGM. This study offers new insights into obtaining reliable isotope data from fossilized remains and suggests that this individual adapted to climate shifts, contributing to the conversation surrounding megafauna extinction.",
author = "Larmon, {Jean T.} and Mcdonald, {H. Gregory} and Stanley Ambrose and Desantis, {Larisa R. G.} and Lucero, {Lisa J.}",
year = "2019",
month = "2",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1126/sciadv.aau1200",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "5",
journal = "Science advances",
issn = "2375-2548",
publisher = "American Association for the Advancement of Science",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A year in the life of a giant ground sloth during the Last Glacial Maximum in Belize

AU - Larmon, Jean T.

AU - Mcdonald, H. Gregory

AU - Ambrose, Stanley

AU - Desantis, Larisa R. G.

AU - Lucero, Lisa J.

PY - 2019/2/1

Y1 - 2019/2/1

N2 - Stable isotope analysis of the first fossilized Eremotherium laurillardi remains from Belize offers valuable insights into the conditions within which this individual lived and its ability to adapt to the increasing aridity of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Cathodoluminescence (CL) microscopy was used to identify chemical alteration of the tooth during fossilization. Results demonstrate that the inner orthodentin resists diagenesis, yielding potentially unaltered values. Using an intensive “vacuum milling” technique, the inner orthodentin produced an accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) date of 26,975 ± 120 calibrated years before the present. The stable carbon and oxygen isotope analysis of this layer shows that the tooth recorded two wet seasons separated by one longer dry season and that this sloth was able to adapt its diet to the marked seasonality of the LGM. This study offers new insights into obtaining reliable isotope data from fossilized remains and suggests that this individual adapted to climate shifts, contributing to the conversation surrounding megafauna extinction.

AB - Stable isotope analysis of the first fossilized Eremotherium laurillardi remains from Belize offers valuable insights into the conditions within which this individual lived and its ability to adapt to the increasing aridity of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Cathodoluminescence (CL) microscopy was used to identify chemical alteration of the tooth during fossilization. Results demonstrate that the inner orthodentin resists diagenesis, yielding potentially unaltered values. Using an intensive “vacuum milling” technique, the inner orthodentin produced an accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) date of 26,975 ± 120 calibrated years before the present. The stable carbon and oxygen isotope analysis of this layer shows that the tooth recorded two wet seasons separated by one longer dry season and that this sloth was able to adapt its diet to the marked seasonality of the LGM. This study offers new insights into obtaining reliable isotope data from fossilized remains and suggests that this individual adapted to climate shifts, contributing to the conversation surrounding megafauna extinction.

U2 - 10.1126/sciadv.aau1200

DO - 10.1126/sciadv.aau1200

M3 - Article

VL - 5

JO - Science advances

JF - Science advances

SN - 2375-2548

IS - 2

M1 - eaau1200

ER -