Microscopy technology at The University of Western Australia that enabled an international team of researchers to locate ancient
The extraction of ancient
Associate Professor Paul Rigby from UWA’s Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis located the
Assoc/Professor Rigby was part of a team led by Murdoch University paleontologist Dr Mike Bunce and PhD student Charlotte Oskam. Other members were from the UK, Denmark, New Zealand, and the US. The eggshells of the ancient megafauna were collected from sites in Australia, New Zealand and Madagascar.
The team’s work, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, was possible because fossilised eggshell has 125 times less bacterial load than fossilised bone, making it a highly suitable material for analysis. It is also structured differently from bone, leaving its original organic constituents intact.
Until this project, paleontologists had relied on bone, tissue, hair, nails, coprolites and feathers for
To read the published paper: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2010/03/09/rspb.2009.2019.full?sid=fb32a760-0c12
- Associate Professor Paul Rigby (+61 8) 9346 2819 (UWA Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis)
- Sally-Ann Jones (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 7975 / (+61 4) 20 790 098