Steroidal biomarker analysis of a 14,000 years old putative human coprolite from Paisley Cave, Oregon
Lipid components of a putative human coprolite sample from the Paleoindian site of Paisley Cave, Oregon (12,300 14C yr BP) were analyzed using GC/MS to explore its origin in light of controversial data obtained from mitochondrial DNA, cross-immunoelectrophoresis, trisodium phosphate rehydration, and micromorphology analyses. Results show the predominant presence of 5β-stigmastanol, the biomarker of herbivore fecal matter, supporting micromorphological identification of the coprolite as herbivore. This study highlights the potential of the biomarker approach in coprolite studies devoted to research on the first presence of humans in North America.
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