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Do fossil vertebrate biominerals hold the key to Palaeozoic climate?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Evolution and Developmental Biology. (Ahlberg Lab)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
University of Alabama.
Natural History Museum.
2012 (English)Conference paper, Poster (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Fossil vertebrate hard tissues - teeth and dermoskeleton - are considered among the most geochemically stable biominerals, and therefore are widely used for palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic reconstructions. Elemental and isotopic compositions of fossil dental tissues may provide unique palaeoenvironmental information, ranging from the diet and trophic positions on a food chain, to the palaeosalinity and water temperatures of ancient seas. However, before starting any geochemical interpretations, the preservation potential of fossil tissues must be studied carefully, considering possible alteration of the primary geochemical composition. Evaluation of fossil hard tissue preservation can be made by semiquantitative spot geochemistry analyses on fine polished teeth and scale thin sections using Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS), and help to roughly preview the chemical composition. The Electron Backscatter Diffractometry (EBSD) is useful to examine the cristallinity and possible structural alterations. In addition, rare earth element (REE) abundances can be measured in situ within the fine fossil tissues (such as enamel vs. dentine) using Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass-spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), and give us information about the selective geochemical resilience between separate vertebrate hard tissues. To conclude, in order to decipher the geochemical signal of fossil biominerals correctly, the evaluation of preservation should be the starting point to any further geochemical studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. 75- p.
National Category
Natural Sciences Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Geochemistry
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-209293OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-209293DiVA: diva2:656657
Development of Isotopic Tracers for a Better Understanding of the Phosphorus Cycle; IsoPhos2012 Conference; 24-29 June 2012; Ascona, Switzerland
Available from: 2013-10-16 Created: 2013-10-16 Last updated: 2013-10-18Bibliographically approved

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