Volume 5, Issue 1

Karen Nelson, John Clarke, Tracy Creagh
2014 International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education  
For a better understanding of the fossilization processes and the paleoenvironmental records, knowing the state of preservation of fossil structures is essential. This paper presents how the analysis of tooth structures can be improved by using techniques increasing spatial resolution and accuracy, like atomic force microscopy (AFM). Micro-and nanostructural changes of the fresh and fossil dentine and enamel of two Suidae were thus observed with scanning electron (SEM) and atomic force
more » ... es. AFM and SEM show similar images for enamel and dentine in fresh teeth, whereas discrepancy occurs for fossil teeth. Both techniques show that dentine is modified by taphonomic and diagenetic processes, but only AFM is able to reveal that enamel is also altered, because AFM magnification and resolution are better than SEM ones. The apparent state of tissue preservation depends on the scale of observation and AFM, an analytical tool and a non-destructive/direct technique, allows a better understanding of the evolution of tissues at a nano-scale.
doi:10.5204/intjfyhe.v5i1.224 fatcat:5hquea7hpnb7nkvxz6uhpm6xre