Help Privacy Policy Disclaimer
  Advanced SearchBrowse




Journal Article

Tooth enamel stable isotopes of Holocene and Pleistocene fossil fauna reveal glacial and interglacial paleoenvironments of hominins in Indonesia


Vonhof,  H. B.
Climate Geochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

External Resource
No external resources are shared
Fulltext (restricted access)
There are currently no full texts shared for your IP range.
Fulltext (public)
There are no public fulltexts stored in PuRe
Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available

Janssen, R., Joordens, J. C. A., Koutamanis, D. S., Puspaningrum, M. R., de Vos, J., van der Lubbe, J. H. J. L., et al. (2016). Tooth enamel stable isotopes of Holocene and Pleistocene fossil fauna reveal glacial and interglacial paleoenvironments of hominins in Indonesia. Quaternary Science Reviews, 144, 145-154. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2016.02.028.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-E970-8
The carbon (delta C-13) and oxygen (delta O-18) isotope compositions of fossilized animal tissues have become important proxies of paleodiet and paleoenvironment, but such stable isotope studies have not yet been extensively applied to the fossil assemblages of Sundaland (the biogeographical region comprising most of the Indonesian Archipelago). Here, we use the isotope composition of tooth enamel to investigate the diet and habitat of bovids, cervids, and suids from several Holocene and Pleistocene sites on Java and Sumatra. Our carbon isotope results indicate that individual sites are strongly dominated by either C-3-browsers or C-4-grazers. Herbivores from the Padang Highlands (Sumatra) and Hoekgrot (Java) cave faunas were mainly C-3-browsers, while herbivores from Homo erectus-bearing sites Trinil and Sangiran (Java) utilized an almost exclusive C-4 diet. The suids from all sites show a wide range of delta C-13 values, corroborating their omnivorous diet. For the dataset as a whole, oxygen and carbon isotope values are positively correlated. This suggests that isotopic enrichment of rainwater and vegetation delta O-18 values coincides with an increase of C-4-grasslands. We interpret this pattern to mainly reflect the environmental contrast between glacial (drier, more C-4) and interglacial (wetter, more C-3) conditions. Intermediate herbivore delta C-13 values indicating mixed C-3/C-4 feeding is relatively rare, which we believe to reflect the abruptness of the transition between glacial and interglacial precipitation regimes in Sundaland. For seven Homo erectus bone samples we were not able distinguish between diagenetic overprint and original isotope values, underlining the need to apply this isotopic approach to Homo erectus tooth enamel instead of bone. Importantly, our present results on herbivore and omnivore faunas provide the isotopic framework that will allow interpretation of such Homo erectus enamel isotope data. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.