Stable-Carbon Isotope Ratios as a Measure of Marine Versus Terrestrial Protein in Ancient Diets
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The stable-carbon isotope ratios for the flesh of marine and terrestrial animals from Canada's Pacific coast differ by 7.9 +/- 0.4 per mil, reflecting the approximately 7 per mil difference between oceanic and atmospheric carbon. This difference is passed on to human consumers. The carbon isotopic values (delta(13)C) for human collagen thus yield direct information on the relative amounts of marine and terrestrial foods in prehistoric diets.
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