This study examines the carbon and oxygen stable isotope data from 58 samples taken from along the growth axes of a single tooth of E. laurillardi recovered from Cara Blanca Pool 1. To obtain accurate isotope results from the most diagenetically resistant apatite layer, samples were taken from three distinct apatite layers within the tooth for comparison: the cementum, the outer layer of the orthodentin, and the inner layer of the orthodentin, as indicated by the darker and lighter layers within the orthodentin. The difference in orthodentin coloration is caused by dentinal tubules in the bioapatite changing direction, differentially affecting the permeability of the orthodentin to diagenetic material (9). Since the orthodentin is the hardest layer of apatite, it was expected to be least subjected to diagenesis (9), with the inner and outer orthodentin layers differentially affected by postdepositional processes. After the sloths’ death, the tubules can act as channels for diagenetic material during the fossilization process (9); thus, the positioning of the tubules would affect tooth resistance to diagenesis. It has been asserted that dentin might be a reliable replacement for enamel for geochemical analysis, depending upon the extent of diagenesis (37). However, there are no specific data as to which layer of dentin should be targeted; in the past, the dentin and orthodentin layers appear to have been treated as a single layer (38). The internal structure of the specific dentin will likely affect the reliability of the results. In this study, both the inner and outer layers of orthodentin were tested separately. To further assess the reliability of isotopic data recovered from the tooth, we conducted CL analysis. Last, we used a vacuum milling technique to sample the orthodentin for an AMS date.

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