Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 1:00 PM


PULLIN, K. Leo, Geosciences, University of Arizona, 1040 E. 4th Street, Tucson, AZ 85719,

New tools and methods such as confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) and advances in scanning electron microscopy are part of a current revolution in microscopy in biology, medicine and materials science. These techniques are slowly being adopted by paleontologists to supplement traditional light and electron microscopy. Critical times and ecosystems may be known from only a few fossils, and getting more information from limited specimens can bring new perspectives. Some of the new methods require less sample preparation, offer higher resolution and can obtain different types of information. CLSM or x-ray microscopy can sample rare fossils non-destructively, micro-CT can be used to create 3-D images of the internal morphology of critical specimens, and Raman spectroscopy can analyze the geochemistry of the fossil and matrix of controversial samples. New methods in paleontology will also require studies that correlate new and old microscopies with their resolution limits and artifacts to confirm the techniques and data. University microscopy centers in other disciplines have advanced instruments for paleontologists to explore bringing the microscopy revolution to the study of fossils.