Knowing a Snail’s Diet from the Chemistry of its Shell – #3650papers – 2017 – 62

#365papers for March 3, 2017

Prendergast, Stevens, Hill, Hunt, O’Connell, and Barker, 2015, Carbon isotope signatures from land snail shells: Implications for palaeovegetation reconstruction in the eastern Mediterranean: Quaternary International, in press.

What’s it about?

This paper discusses the use of carbon isotopes in the shells of land snails to interpret what the snails were eating. To do this, they studied wild snails for which they could also measure the carbon isotopes of potential food sources.

Why does it matter?

If we want to use fossil shells to interpret the presence or absence of certain plants in an environment, we sure as heck oughtta prove to ourselves that this is legit with modern snails in a known environment. This is what the authors have done.

Why did I read this?

I’m currently doing a project using isotopes from land snails to interpret vegetation patterns. This is important.

I really got into reading this paper, and went on to read another paper and wrote notes all over this one.

Very important thinking happened here…

This was a good paper!


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