Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Fantastic Fish Teeth

On Monday and Tuesday this week I was lucky enough to be working with a visitor who is an expert on fossil fish teeth. It was a fascinating couple of days! Elizabeth Sibert is a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at the University of California San Diego. She is currently on a research visit to the UK with one of the TW:eed Project Partners, Matt Friedman at the University of Oxford.

Elizabeth and I compared notes on the teeth of actinopterygian fish, from the Carboniferous (TW:eed Project) to Cretaceous and Cenozoic (Elizabeth’s PhD work). One of the fascinating things about these fish is how common they are in the Ballagan Formation, and how different they are to the larger rhizodont fish. We also discussed things such what the fish ate, and why their diversity changes through geological time. 

Elizabeth and I using the Scanning Electron Microscope to image fish teeth
On Tuesday we looked at some very tiny tooth specimens recovered from sediment residues during microfossil picking. As the teeth were less than 1 mm in size, we used the Scanning Electron Microscope to see their detailed structure. It was a very informative and fun two days and we hope to continue working together.

I wish everyone a Happy Easter!

Until next time

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