Correction to: Nature Ecology & Evolution, published online 26 March 2018.

In the version of this Perspective originally published, in the third paragraph of the section ‘Selection and sampling’, the sentence beginning ‘Pyrolysis–gas chromatography’ should have also referred to high-performance liquid chromatography; the sentence has now been amended to read ‘Pyrolysis–gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (py–GC/MS) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) can be used to detect the presence of amino acids62 in any putative proteinaceous sample.’