Chemical Geology 267 (2009) 3–11
While the use of stable isotopes in wildlife ecological research is growing rapidly, development of methods to establish time-specific isotope data from continuously growing animal tissues are lacking. Using serially collected tail hairs from wild African elephants (Loxodonta africana), we develop and compare four techniques to collate temporal isotope chronologies from metabolically inert tissues for which formation/growth overlapped in time. The influence of variation in within hair growth rates and other sources of error in the presented techniques are explored and found to be inconsequential relative to the 5-day tissue sampling interval. Using a floating point regression approach, we find a high degree of correlation between independently derived isotope profiles from the same and different individuals in the study ecosystem.