Department of Biology
King’s College
London, U.K

Considerable debate surrounds the decline and collapse of the Central American Maya culture. The analysis of carbon and nitrogen isotopes in bones from Maya burials has now permitted some reconstruction of diet. The importance of maize has been confirmed, though it does seem to have become a less important dietary element at the time of the Maya collapse.

C.D. White, H.P. Schwarcz, “Ancient Maya diet: as inferred from isotopic and elemental analysis of human bone,” Journal of Archaeological Science, 16,451-74, September 1989,’ (University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada)

Large predatory birds often require extensive hunting territories, for survival. Assessment of their density may provide a simple indication of the minimum area needed for a nature reserve. Studies in the rain forests of French Guiana show that a 10,000-hectare sample...

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