Glow in the dark: Use of synchrotron μXRF trace elemental mapping and multispectral macro-imaging on fossils from the Paris Biota (Bear Lake County, Idaho, USA)

Abstract : The end-Permian mass extinction is the largest global-scale event ever recorded; it also corresponds to the expansion of the Modern Evolutionary Fauna, which will lead to present-day ecosystems. The Early Triassic is thus a pivotal interval in the evolution of many marine groups. An exceptionally well- preserved early Spathian fossil assemblage, the Paris Biota, was recently discovered in southeastern Idaho, USA; it represents the earliest complex marine ecosystem known to date for the post-crisis aftermath. Here we use synchrotron mXRF imaging to retrieve further anatomical, paleobiological and taphonomical data on some of the most intriguing fossils from the Paris Biota, such as contours of the central disc and the full length of arms in an ophiuroid specimen. We also show that multispectral macro-imaging is powerful to reveal or enhance the visualization of some specimens, particularly shrimps, that are barely perceptible under visible and UV lights. The complementary use of both techniques suggests that the actual richness and abundance of organisms in this exceptionally well- preserved Early Triassic ecosystem is likely to remain underestimated, and this situation may be even worse in other less well-preserved spatiotemporal contexts.
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https://hal-univ-lyon1.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02155139
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 1:48:51 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 15, 2019 - 1:17:50 AM

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Arnaud Brayard, Pierre Gueriau, Mathieu Thoury, Gilles Escarguel, The Paris Biota Team. Glow in the dark: Use of synchrotron μXRF trace elemental mapping and multispectral macro-imaging on fossils from the Paris Biota (Bear Lake County, Idaho, USA). Geobios, Elsevier Masson, 2019, 54, pp.71-79. ⟨10.1016/j.geobios.2019.04.008⟩. ⟨hal-02155139⟩

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