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You are here: Home Individual Projects First Funding Period (2004-2007) Project A3: Bone Geochemistry

Project A3: Bone Geochemistry

Title Determination of sauropod dinosaur growth rates by seasonal intra-bone oxygen isotope variability - climate influence on dinosaur growth and paleobiology
Principal Investigator  Dr. Thomas Tütken


Knowledge of how and how fast sauropod dinosaurs grew to such enormous sizes is fundamental to our understanding of their means of reproduction, thermophysiology, and their evolution. Biogenic phosphates in the bones and teeth of dinosaurs can preserve along their growth axis an isotopic time-series of annual climate seasonality and dietary intake like other accretionary skeletal phases such as corals or wood. Oxygen isotope composition of sauropod bone apatite is used as a paleoclimate proxy and its annual cyclicity as a time marker for skeletochronology to infer ontogenetic ages and calculate dinosaur growth rates. High-resolution oxygen isotope profiles will be measured for sauropod dinosaur bones from different sympatric genera and climatic settings.

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