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You are What You Eat: Using Stable Isotopes... Questions

After reading the article, "You are What You Eat: Using Stable Isotopes to Trace Dietary Shifts in Ancient African Herbivores" by Anne-Marie Hodge. ©2011 Ecology Communications Group, Inc. September 2, 2011 external arrow answer these questions:

  1. Grasslands became widespread only since the late Pliocene. How along ago was that?
  2. This recent development of a landscape brings to mind what three important questions?
  3. Contrast the photosynthesis rate of C3 and C4 plants.
  4. The C3 / C4 take home message is ______ .
  5. Compare and contrast browsers and grazers. OK, I'll do the compare: These are herbivorous animals.
  6. Different ratios of stable carbon isotopes (13C / 12C) in vegetation allow distinguishing between ____ and ____ plants.
  7. The author emphasizes these are stable carbon isotopes. Why does she think we know about radioactive carbon isotopes?
  8. The 13C / 12C ratios in plant materials are preserved in the animal tissues. What animal parts did Uno et al. use for their studies?
  9. Rank the families (bovids, elephatids, equids, giraffids and suids) from first to switch to C4 to last to switch diets.
  10. The author mentions that the bovid species had mixed or primarily C3 diets. How might that relate to bovid diversity?
  11. Extreme animal size might relate to the inability of those animals to make dietary changes. Aside from some carnivorous mammals what other taxa might have been doomed by this?
  12. Why don't giraffes have long necks?
  13. Discuss the morphological changes amongst these taxa that are supported by this study.
  14. Discuss a limitation of the study the authors acknowledge.
  15. If your teeth enamel was examined, would you be a C3 or C4 diet animal? Don't forget you might also eat meat - how does that skew the results?