Oxygen isotope fractionation between bird eggshell calcite and body water: application to fossil eggs from Lanzarote (Canary Islands)
- 253 Downloads
Oxygen and carbon isotope compositions of fossil bird eggshell calcite (δ18Ocalc and δ13Ccalc) are regularly used to reconstruct paleoenvironmental conditions. However, the interpretation of δ18Ocalc values of fossil eggshells has been limited to qualitative variations in local climatic conditions as oxygen isotope fractionations between calcite, body fluids, and drinking water have not been determined yet. For this purpose, eggshell, albumen water, and drinking water of extant birds have been analyzed for their oxygen and carbon isotope compositions. Relative enrichments in 18O relative to 16O between body fluids and drinking water of +1.6 ± 0.9 ‰ for semi-aquatic birds and of +4.4 ± 1.9 ‰ for terrestrial birds are observed. Surprisingly, no significant dependence to body temperature on the oxygen isotope fractionation between eggshell calcite and body fluids is observed, suggesting that bird eggshells precipitate out of equilibrium. Two empirical equations relating the δ18Ocalc value of eggshell calcite to the δ18Ow value of ingested water have been established for terrestrial and semi-aquatic birds. These equations have been applied to fossil eggshells from Lanzarote in order to infer the ecologies of the Pleistocene marine bird Puffinus sp. and of the enigmatic giant birds from the Pliocene. Both δ13Ccalc and δ18Ocalc values of Puffinus eggshells point to a semi-aquatic marine bird ingesting mostly seawater, whereas low δ13Ccalc and high δ18Ocalc values of eggshells from the Pliocene giant bird suggest a terrestrial lifestyle. This set of equations can help to quantitatively estimate the origin of waters ingested by extinct birds as well as to infer either local environmental or climatic conditions.
KeywordsBird Eggshell Oxygen and carbon isotopes Paleoecology Lanzarote
The authors thank G. Douay (PARC DE LA Tête d’Or, Lyon, France), S. Sweetman (University of Porthmouth), F. Lafuma, M. Arnould, J. Claude (ISEM), F. Thibon, L. Lambs (ECOLAB), and all the anonymous individual farmers for assistance in egg and water collection or analysis, as well as T. Tütken (Universität Mainz) and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments that greatly helped to improve the manuscript. This study was supported by the Institut Universitaire de France (C.L.). The work by A. Sánchez Marco was supported by the grants CGL2011-28681, the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, and 2014 SGR 416 and 437 K117, Generalitat de Catalunya, and the CNRS INSU program INTERRVIE.
- Anderson TF, Arthur MA (1983) Stable isotopes of oxygen and carbon and their application to sedimentologic and paleoenvironmental problems. In: Stable isotopes in sedimentary geology. SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), pp 1–151Google Scholar
- Angst D, Lécuyer C, Amiot R, et al. (2014) Isotopic and anatomical evidence of an herbivorous diet in the Early Tertiary giant bird Gastornis. Implications for the structure of Paleocene terrestrial ecosystems. Naturwissenschaften 101:313–322. doi: 10.1007/s00114-014-1158-2 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Bowen GJ (2009) The online isotopes in precipitation calculator, version 2.2. Available from:<http://www.waterisotopes.org.
- Garcia-Talavera F (1990) Aves gigantes en el Mioceno de Famara (Lanzarote). Rev Acad Canar Cienc Folia Canar Acad Sci 2:71–79Google Scholar
- Hadley NF (1980) Surface waxes and integumentary permeability: lipids deposited on or associated with the surface of terrestrial plants and animals help protect them from a lethal rate of desiccation. Am Sci 68:546–553Google Scholar
- Hammer Ø, Harper DAT, Ryan PD (2001) PAST: paleontological statistics software package for education and data analysis. Palaeontol Electron 4:9ppGoogle Scholar
- IAEA/WMO (2015) Global network of isotopes in precipitation. The GNIP Database. Accessible at: http://www-naweb.iaea.org/napc/ih/index.html.
- Mackenzie GJ, Schaffner FC, Swart PK (2015) The stable isotopic composition of carbonate (C & O) and the organic matrix (C & N) in waterbird eggshells from South Florida: insights into feeding ecology, timing of egg formation, and geographic range. Hydrobiologia 743:89–108. doi: 10.1007/s10750-014-2015-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- McMinn M, Jaume D (1990) Puffinus olsoni n. sp.: nova espècie de baldritja recentment extingida provinent de depòsits espeleològics de Fuerteventura i Lanzarote (Illes Canàries, Atlàntic Oriental). Endins Publicació Espeleol 63–72.Google Scholar
- Mikhailov KE (1991) Classification of fossil eggshells of amniotic vertebrates. Acta Palaeontol Pol 36:193–238Google Scholar
- Mikhailov KE (1997) Fossil and recent eggshell in amniotic vertebrates: fine structure, comparative morphology and classification. Spec Pap Palaeontol 56:1–80Google Scholar
- Pokrovskaya OB, Litvin KE, Pokrovsky BG (2011) The isotope composition of carbon and oxygen in eggshell of barnacle goose Branta leucopsis. In: Doklady Biological Sciences. Springer, pp 124–127.Google Scholar
- Rothe P (1964) Fossile Strausseneier auf Lanzarote. Nat Mus 94:175–187Google Scholar
- Sanchez Marco A (2010) New data and an overview of the past avifaunas from the Canary Islands. Ardeola 57:13–40Google Scholar
- Schaffner FC, Swart PK (1991) Influence of diet and environmental water on the carbon and oxygen isotopic signatures of seabird eggshell carbonate. Bull Mar Sci 48:23–38Google Scholar
- Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (2009) Introduction to biostatistics, 2nd edn. Dover Publications Incorp, Mineola, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Swart PK, Price RM, Greer L (2001) The relationship between stable isotopic variations (O, H, and C) and salinity in waters and corals from environments in South Florida: implications for reading the paleoenvironmental record. Bull Am Paleontol 17–30.Google Scholar
- Turekian KK, Steele JH, Thorpe SA (2009) Climate & oceans: a derivative of the encyclopedia of ocean sciences, 1st edn. Academic Press, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
- Tütken T, Vennemann TW, Janz H, Heizmann EPJ (2006) Palaeoenvironment and palaeoclimate of the Middle Miocene lake in the Steinheim basin, SW Germany: a reconstruction from C, O, and Sr isotopes of fossil remains. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 241:457–491. doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2006.04.007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar