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T几年前housands,现代佛罗里达州的居民和加勒比享用了海龟,留下骨头后面讲述古老的传说那饮食和海洋的过去。

一个国际科学家小组利用尖端技术 分析蛋白质 从这些骨头有助于确定哪些人龟从海洋千年前捕捞品种。这可以帮助现代的努力保护通过帮助构建历史基准的海龟种群,其中很多现在濒临灭绝,而长期趋势照亮人的影响。

该技术被称为胶原蛋白指纹,使科学家能够想象不同的化学签名的胶原蛋白,骨骼的主要结构蛋白,经常是种属特异性。 ESTA提供的互补替代比较试样的物理特性和分析古DNA,两种方法可以是不成功的,对于鉴定考古骨头物种在热带地区发现分段。

two researchers sort through bones at table
曼彻斯特维吉尼亚大学哈维和卡斯帕哥本哈根大学的Toftgaard选择从美国出土的龟骨标本维尔京群岛在丹麦国家博物馆的胶原蛋白分析。

现代历史和世界文化的丹麦部门的国家博物馆提供照片

适用于超过胶原蛋白指纹图谱从考古遗址100个样本龟高达2500岁,研究人员发现,胶原蛋白含区属骨头绿海龟的63%, 绿海龟,随着玳瑁的数量较少, eretmochelys玳瑁和龟龟, 种。一些标本以前标识为海龟从他们的骨骼特征,其实骨子里是从鳄龟,水龟和陆龟。

“这是第一次有人获得使用海龟骨,考古蛋白质保存物种一级信息”说着弗吉尼亚哈维,该研究报告的主要作者,博士研究员在海洋生物学和zooarchaeology在曼彻斯特大学。 “我们的方法使我们能够解开古否则数据失去的时间,看看哪个龟人类的物种是在加勒比和佛罗里达地区前瞄准了数千年。”

从全球来看,海龟已经开发了几千年了他们的肉,蛋,壳等产品。如今,他们面临着栖息地的丧失和干扰,偷猎,污染,气候变化和渔业的威胁。唯一的海龟的七种残留,其中六个是脆弱的分类,濒危或严重濒危。获得海龟穿越时空人群发生了变化是如何保护他们的重要组成部分历史的角度来看,哈维说。

" href="//www.guvenpos.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2019/11/NPS1_20150504-CL014-14.jpg" itemprop="url"> sea turtle digging nest on beach

One of the research team’s initial goals was to discern whether any collagen still survived in ancient turtle bone remains. In an analysis of 130 archaeological turtle samples, the team was able to detect collagen in 88%.

“We were very impressed with the levels of protein preservation in the turtle bones, some of which are thought to be up to 2,500 years old,” said study co-author Michelle LeFebvre, assistant curator of South Florida archaeology and ethnography at the 佛罗里达博物馆 of 自然历史. “The fact we were then able to use the protein signatures for species identification to better understand these archaeological sites was very exciting.”

The team uncovered an unusual chemical signature in a small number of bone samples that could suggest they belong to a different species than those present in oceans today. But when the researchers attempted ancient DNA analysis on them, they found the material was too degraded.

“Where DNA sequencing can often give more accurate information about species identity, this molecule is very fragile and does not always survive too well in ancient samples from hot, humid climates,” said study co-author Konstantina Drosou, ancient DNA specialist at the University of Manchester.

In contrast, proteins are present in much higher concentrations and therefore more likely to survive in the archaeological record, Drosou said.

“Proteins are very sturdy molecules,” Harvey added. “The absence of preserved DNA in these samples means we have not been able to verify whether they represent a new species of sea turtle or not, but it does show us that our work here is far from complete. There is so much that we can still learn from the turtle remains at these sites and beyond.”

Using collagen fingerprinting to correct misidentifications based on physical characteristics was “a nice additional outcome of the study,” said Michael Buckley, senior author of the study and senior research fellow at the University of Manchester.

Susan deFrance, study co-author and professor in the University of Florida department of anthropology, said juvenile sea turtles are often misidentified because they are small and may lack the characteristics used to distinguish adult sea turtle bones.

“This is the first time we have been able to look so specifically into the preferred food choices of the site occupants,” she said. “At the Florida Gulf Coast site, they captured a lot of juvenile turtles. The positive species-level identifications of these samples could not have been accomplished without this collagen fingerprinting technology.”

figure showing maps of archaeological sites and pie charts of species numbers
In this illustration, blue represents the percentage of bones identified as green turtles, 绿海龟, green represents hawksbill turtles, eretmochelys玳瑁, and purple represents ridley turtles, species in the genus 鳞.

Image 通过 Harvey et al. in Royal Society Open Science

At the same site, researchers found green turtle remains in both refuse heaps and mounds, but ridley turtle specimens were only found in mounds, suggesting they may have been reserved for feasting rituals, LeFebvre said.

“We knew these ancient people were eating sea turtles, but now we can begin to hone in on which turtles they were eating at particular times,” she said. “It’s no different than today – we associate certain foods with certain events. It’s how humans roll.”

The researchers are also eager to continue to apply collagen fingerprinting to other archaeological museum specimens, many of which have yet to be positively identified to the species level.

Harvey said she hopes the study inspires further research on sea turtles and other vulnerable and endangered animals.

“Now that this method is available, we hope that biologists, archaeologists and conservationists globally will continue this important work.”


The researchers published their findings in Royal Society Open Science.

Casper Toftgaard of the University of Copenhagen and Andrew Kitchener of National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh also co-authored the study.

Funding for the research came from the University of Manchester and the Royal Society.


Sources: Virginia Harvey, virginia.harvey@manchester.ac.uk;
Michelle LeFebvre, mlefebvre@flmnh.ufl.edu, 352-273-1917;
Konstantina Drosou, konstantina.drosou@manchester.ac.uk;
Michael Buckley, m.buckley@manchester.ac.uk;
Susan deFrance, sdef@ufl.edu

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