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Laser-stimulated fluorescence in paleontology.

Kaye TG, Falk AR, Pittman M, Sereno PC, Martin LD, Burnham DA, Gong E, Xu X, Wang Y - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: A laser's ability to concentrate very high flux rates both at the macroscopic and microscopic levels results in specimens fluorescing in ways a standard UV bulb cannot induce.The recent cost reductions in medium-power short wavelength lasers and use of standard photographic filters has now made this technique widely accessible to researchers.This represents a highly cost-effective way to address paleontology's preparatory bottleneck.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Fluorescence using ultraviolet (UV) light has seen increased use as a tool in paleontology over the last decade. Laser-stimulated fluorescence (LSF) is a next generation technique that is emerging as a way to fluoresce paleontological specimens that remain dark under typical UV. A laser's ability to concentrate very high flux rates both at the macroscopic and microscopic levels results in specimens fluorescing in ways a standard UV bulb cannot induce. Presented here are five paleontological case histories that illustrate the technique across a broad range of specimens and scales. Novel uses such as back-lighting opaque specimens to reveal detail and detection of specimens completely obscured by matrix are highlighted in these examples. The recent cost reductions in medium-power short wavelength lasers and use of standard photographic filters has now made this technique widely accessible to researchers. This technology has the potential to automate multiple aspects of paleontology, including preparation and sorting of microfossils. This represents a highly cost-effective way to address paleontology's preparatory bottleneck.

No MeSH data available.


Unidentified Liaoning fossil specimen.An unidentifiable specimen from a Liaoning rock slab containing a Microraptor specimen (LVH 0026). No diagnostic bones are visible on the specimen surface, but laser penetration into the matrix induced fluorescence in multiple teeth and scales, making the identification of a fish possible. Scale bar 1 cm.
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pone.0125923.g006: Unidentified Liaoning fossil specimen.An unidentifiable specimen from a Liaoning rock slab containing a Microraptor specimen (LVH 0026). No diagnostic bones are visible on the specimen surface, but laser penetration into the matrix induced fluorescence in multiple teeth and scales, making the identification of a fish possible. Scale bar 1 cm.

Mentions: A very small specimen (Fig 6) was discovered on the same slab as a Microraptor specimen (Theropoda: Dromaeosauridae [20]) discovered in Liaoning province, China (LVH 0026). The visible bones were not sufficient to identify the specimen, so it was submitted for laser analysis as a last resort. Laser fluorescence identified the specimen as a fish within minutes. In this case the hydroxyapatite in the bones and teeth fluoresced at a higher intensity than the surrounding matrix. The higher intensity fluorescent reaction of the specimen, in comparison to the matrix, revealed teeth below the surface and transparent scales on the surface that were virtually invisible in reflected light (Fig 7). Note that the bone fragment on the right in Fig 7 actually lies under the scale. Laser fluorescence of the formerly translucent scale shows enough detail to count the scale’s growth rings.


Laser-stimulated fluorescence in paleontology.

Kaye TG, Falk AR, Pittman M, Sereno PC, Martin LD, Burnham DA, Gong E, Xu X, Wang Y - PLoS ONE (2015)

Unidentified Liaoning fossil specimen.An unidentifiable specimen from a Liaoning rock slab containing a Microraptor specimen (LVH 0026). No diagnostic bones are visible on the specimen surface, but laser penetration into the matrix induced fluorescence in multiple teeth and scales, making the identification of a fish possible. Scale bar 1 cm.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4446324&req=5

pone.0125923.g006: Unidentified Liaoning fossil specimen.An unidentifiable specimen from a Liaoning rock slab containing a Microraptor specimen (LVH 0026). No diagnostic bones are visible on the specimen surface, but laser penetration into the matrix induced fluorescence in multiple teeth and scales, making the identification of a fish possible. Scale bar 1 cm.
Mentions: A very small specimen (Fig 6) was discovered on the same slab as a Microraptor specimen (Theropoda: Dromaeosauridae [20]) discovered in Liaoning province, China (LVH 0026). The visible bones were not sufficient to identify the specimen, so it was submitted for laser analysis as a last resort. Laser fluorescence identified the specimen as a fish within minutes. In this case the hydroxyapatite in the bones and teeth fluoresced at a higher intensity than the surrounding matrix. The higher intensity fluorescent reaction of the specimen, in comparison to the matrix, revealed teeth below the surface and transparent scales on the surface that were virtually invisible in reflected light (Fig 7). Note that the bone fragment on the right in Fig 7 actually lies under the scale. Laser fluorescence of the formerly translucent scale shows enough detail to count the scale’s growth rings.

Bottom Line: A laser's ability to concentrate very high flux rates both at the macroscopic and microscopic levels results in specimens fluorescing in ways a standard UV bulb cannot induce.The recent cost reductions in medium-power short wavelength lasers and use of standard photographic filters has now made this technique widely accessible to researchers.This represents a highly cost-effective way to address paleontology's preparatory bottleneck.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Fluorescence using ultraviolet (UV) light has seen increased use as a tool in paleontology over the last decade. Laser-stimulated fluorescence (LSF) is a next generation technique that is emerging as a way to fluoresce paleontological specimens that remain dark under typical UV. A laser's ability to concentrate very high flux rates both at the macroscopic and microscopic levels results in specimens fluorescing in ways a standard UV bulb cannot induce. Presented here are five paleontological case histories that illustrate the technique across a broad range of specimens and scales. Novel uses such as back-lighting opaque specimens to reveal detail and detection of specimens completely obscured by matrix are highlighted in these examples. The recent cost reductions in medium-power short wavelength lasers and use of standard photographic filters has now made this technique widely accessible to researchers. This technology has the potential to automate multiple aspects of paleontology, including preparation and sorting of microfossils. This represents a highly cost-effective way to address paleontology's preparatory bottleneck.

No MeSH data available.