Publication details

Bear diet, seasonality and migration based on chemical multielemental teeth analysis



Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Přehled výzkumů
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Archaeology, anthropology, ethnology
Keywords mammalia; migration; diet; seasonality; multielemental analysis; LIBS; LA-ICP-MS
Description Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) and Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) were utilized for microspatial analyses of a fossil bear (Ursus arctos) tooth dentine. The distribution of selected trace elements (Sr, Ba, Fe) was measured on a 26 mm x 15 mm large and 3 mm thick transversal cross section of canine tooth. The Na and Mg content together with the distribution of matrix elements (Ca, P) was also monitored within this area. It is shown that LIBS, similarly to LA-ICP-MS can be successfully utilized for fast, spatially-resolved analysis of fossil teeth samples. Rate of Sr and Ca, Sr and Ba tracers were recognized and it is possible to say, that these elements are changing its concentration in according to the seasonal increments of dentine. The concentration is lower in winter, when the bear is in his hibernation, contrary to summer, which is affluent for its substances. Secondly, concentration of Sr shows us a seasonal migration between the place of hibernating and territory where bear searched for feed. From measurement of concentrations it is possible to claim, that the bear was hunted in his season of searching for feed, when he was ensuring his fat reserve for winter. From archaeological point of view, on the base of these measurements it was possible to reconstruct the ethology of the fossil brown bear, i.e. the nutrition, health and migration.
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