2007 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (2831 October 2007)
Paper No. 144-30
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


DEMAR, David G. Jr, Department of Biology and Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, ddemar@u.washington.edu, CLEMENTZ, Mark T., Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Wyoming, Dept. 3006, 1000 E. University Ave, Laramie, WY 82071, and BREITHAUPT, Brent H., Geological Museum, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071

Carbonate oxygen (δ18O) and carbon (δ13C) stable isotope values have been obtained from vertebrate microfossil enameloid of several taxa from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) Mesaverde Formation, Wyoming. This analysis was conducted to deduce if expected patterns in carbon and oxygen isotope compositions could be preserved in tooth enamel from a variety of Mesozoic carnivorous and herbivorous terrestrial and aquatic vertebrates (i.e., Hybodontidae, Dasyatidae, Lepisosteidae, Amiidae, Crocodilidae, Hadrosauridae, Ceratopsidae, and Tyrannosauridae). For terrestrial vertebrates, enamel and enameloid δ13C values are controlled by the carbon isotope composition from diet, whereas δ18O values are controlled by environmental water and physiology. Given the known flora of this time period, we expect consumers to have δ13C values consistent with C3 environments and δ18O to track local surface waters. For aquatic vertebrates, enamel and enameloid δ13C and δ18O values are often most strongly influenced by the chemistry of environmental waters. We expect δ13C and δ18O for aquatic taxa to show high values for primarily marine taxa (e.g., hybodontids), intermediate values for brackish water taxa (e.g., lepisosteids), and low values for freshwater taxa (e.g., amiids). We used δ13C values as evidence of dietary preferences to discriminate taxa into dietary guilds. Preliminary results show minor differences in δ18O values with larger, but less than expected, variance in δ13C compared to modern ecosystems. These values indicate that diagenesis has altered the original isotopic composition, but to what degree has yet to be determined. Using the less dense bioapatite (e.g., dentine) as a measure of diagenesis, it is evident that carbon isotope values are higher and oxygen isotope values are lower than the original isotope values. Bivariate plots of isotope values show distinct taxonomic clusters that may correlate with interspecific diets. Results from this study, in addition to previous faunal and statistical analyses from this same locality (Barwin Quarry/Fales Rocks), are giving further insight into the paleoecology of the Campanian coastal facies of Wyoming.

2007 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (2831 October 2007)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 144--Booth# 113
Paleontology (Posters) II: Environments, Ecosystems, and Interactions
Colorado Convention Center: Exhibit Hall E/F
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 39, No. 6, p. 401

© Copyright 2007 The Geological Society of America (GSA), all rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to the author(s) of this abstract to reproduce and distribute it freely, for noncommercial purposes. Permission is hereby granted to any individual scientist to download a single copy of this electronic file and reproduce up to 20 paper copies for noncommercial purposes advancing science and education, including classroom use, providing all reproductions include the complete content shown here, including the author information. All other forms of reproduction and/or transmittal are prohibited without written permission from GSA Copyright Permissions.