Isotopic palaeoecology of Makapansgat limeworks perissodactyla

M. Sponheimer, K. Reed, J. A. Lee-Thorp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Relatively little is known about the ecology of South African Pliocene perissodactyls. Researchers usually assume that these taxa were ecologically similar to their modern counterparts, but this assumption is questionable, and can tell us nothing about the ecology of taxa without modern representatives such as chalicotheres. Here we examine the ecology of Makapansgat's Rhinocerotidae, Equidae and Chalicotheridae using stable carbon isotope analysis of tooth enamel. This allows us to test uniformitarianist assumptions, provides insight into the ecology of these taxa, and allows a glimpse into the ecological underpinnings of hominid evolution in South Africa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-329
Number of pages3
JournalSouth African Journal of Science
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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