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  1. Abstract Diet is a crucial trait of an animal’s lifestyle and ecology. The trophic level of an organism indicates its functional position within an ecosystem and holds significance for its ecology and evolution. Here, we demonstrate the use of zinc isotopes (δ 66 Zn) to geochemically assess the trophic level in diverse extant and extinct sharks, including the Neogene megatooth shark ( Otodus megalodon ) and the great white shark ( Carcharodon carcharias ). We reveal that dietary δ 66 Zn signatures are preserved in fossil shark tooth enameloid over deep geologic time and are robust recorders of each species’ trophic level. We observe significant δ 66 Zn differences among the Otodus and Carcharodon populations implying dietary shifts throughout the Neogene in both genera. Notably, Early Pliocene sympatric C. carcharias and O. megalodon appear to have occupied a similar mean trophic level, a finding that may hold clues to the extinction of the gigantic Neogene megatooth shark.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 6, 2023
  3. Nitrogen isotope ratios in fossil teeth place extinct megatooth sharks at the top of the marine food web.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 24, 2023
  4. Abstract The interpretation of palaeoclimate archives based on oxygen isotopes depends critically on a detailed understanding of processes controlling the isotopic composition of precipitation. In the summer monsoonal realm, like Southeast Asia, seasonally and interannually depleted oxygen isotope ratios in precipitation have been linked to the summer monsoon strength. However, in some regions, such as central Vietnam, the majority of precipitation falls outside the summer monsoon period. We investigate processes controlling stable isotopes in precipitation from central Vietnam by combining moisture uptake calculations with monthly stable isotope data observed over five years. We find that the isotopic seasonal cycle in this region is driven by a shift in moisture source from the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea. This shift is reflected in oxygen isotope ratios with low values (− 8 to − 10‰) during summer and high values during spring/winter (0 to − 3‰), while 70% of the annual rainfall occurs during autumn. Interannual changes in precipitation isotopes in central Vietnam are governed by the timing of the seasonal onset and withdrawal of the Intertropical Convergence Zone, which controls the amount of vapour contributed from each source.
  5. Abstract

    Between 5 and 4 thousand years ago, crippling megadroughts led to the disruption of ancient civilizations across parts of Africa and Asia, yet the extent of these climate extremes in mainland Southeast Asia (MSEA) has never been defined. This is despite archeological evidence showing a shift in human settlement patterns across the region during this period. We report evidence from stalagmite climate records indicating a major decrease of monsoon rainfall in MSEA during the mid- to late Holocene, coincident with African monsoon failure during the end of the Green Sahara. Through a set of modeling experiments, we show that reduced vegetation and increased dust loads during the Green Sahara termination shifted the Walker circulation eastward and cooled the Indian Ocean, causing a reduction in monsoon rainfall in MSEA. Our results indicate that vegetation-dust climate feedbacks from Sahara drying may have been the catalyst for societal shifts in MSEA via ocean-atmospheric teleconnections.