Isotopic studies of vertebrate material have a short history, while isotopic analyses of invertebrates originated in the 1940's. Interestingly, the driving force behind Harold Urey's desire to derive a carbonate paleotemperature scale in the 1940's and 1950's was the hope that it would solve the mystery of dinosaur extinction by demonstrating temperature changes at the K/T boundary. The most useful and commonly investigated stable isotopes for paleobiologic studies of vertebrates are carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. Oxygen is available from the inorganic bone or tooth apatite phase. Carbon is most often derived from tooth enamel carbonate or organic collagen, and nitrogen is derived from collagen. Each of these stable isotopes provides information on different aspects of an animal's biology and when combined, provide powerful analyses for ecological and evolutionary reconstructions. In the 1970's, much work was done describing the carbon and nitrogen variations in plants. This period was followed in the late 1970's and early 1980's by research on these isotopic variables in mammals (e.g., DeNiro and Epstein, 1978, 1981; Vogel, 1978; Van der Merwe, N.J., 1982). The utility of these isotopes for dietary recognition led to their extensive investigation in archeological studies. Not until the mid to late 1980's and 1990's have these isotopes been utilized in both the inorganic component of teeth and bones as well as the organic component of bones in Pleistocene and older paleobiologic studies. The 1980's also saw the emergence of research on the oxygen isotopic variations in mammals. However, the focus of isotopic studies on vertebrates was not for paleobiologic purposes, but rather, for attempts to derive paleohydrologic or paleoclimatic information from them (e.g., Longinelli, 1984; Luz et al., 1984).