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Amber Fossils Revealed by Synchrotron Imaging

Abstract : Amber is of great paleontological value because it preserves a diverse array of organisms from different habitats in and close to the amber-producing forests. Terrestrial arthropods are the most commonly preserved inclusions but, in rare instances, amber also contains small mollusks, reptiles, birds, feathers, mammal hairs, plants, and various microbes. Thus, amber discoveries help tracing the evolutionary history of lineages with otherwise poor fossil records, and they also provide insight into the diversity and ecology of terrestrial paleoecosystems. Inclusions in translucent amber are commonly studied using standard optical microscopes, but the minute size as well as the position of inclusions in an amber piece can prevent the full morphological and anatomical views. Moreover, a significant portion of amber is partly or fully opaque, and biological inclusions in such amber are invisible. Synchrotron imaging techniques are powerful tools to access such poorly exposed and invisible inclusions1. An optimized imaging protocol has been developed2, using propagation phase contrast X-ray synchrotron microradiography to efficiently survey large amounts of opaque amber after immersion in water, followed by phase contrast microtomography for precise characterization of selected organisms. REFERENCES 1. P. Tafforeau et al. 2006. Appl. Phys. A: Mater. 83, 195-202 (2006). 2. M. Lak, D. Néraudeau, A. Nel, P. Cloetens, V. Perrichot and P. Tafforeau, Microsc. Microanal. 14, 251-259 (2008).
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-02462577
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Submitted on : Friday, January 31, 2020 - 1:59:31 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, February 2, 2020 - 1:12:04 AM

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Vincent Perrichot. Amber Fossils Revealed by Synchrotron Imaging. Techniques for integrated biology at Synchrotron SOLEIL and its upgrade. 15th Sychrotron users' meeting, Synchrotron SOLEIL, Jan 2020, Saint-Aubin, France. pp.55. ⟨insu-02462577⟩

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