What X-Rays and Absorptions Really Tell Us About Fossilization – #365papers – 2018 – 24

Stathopoulou, Psycharis, Chryssikos, Gionis, and Theodorou, 2008, Bone diagnesis: New data from infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 266, p. 168-174.

What’s it about?

The authors here use two different methods to gain a sense of the changes in the shapes and sizes of crystals of the bone mineral bioapatite due to the process of fossilization. They also consider the various differences in composition (i.e. how much fluorine, hydroxyl, or carbonate) is present in the bioapatite. While this is done nominally to look at the effects of fossilization, it appears to be better at fingerprinting different localities.

Why does it matter?

This has value because scientists have been using these techniques to make determinations about the state of alteration of the fossils and of the composition of the bioapatite. The authors show that some of the assumptions made are incorrect.

Why did I read this?

I am interested in any paper that discusses how fossilization and associated changes in the crystallography of a fossil affects the geochemical signature of a fossil.

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