Dinosaur and Crocodile Fossils from the Mesozoic of Portugal: Neutron Tomography and Synchrotron-Radiation Based Micro-Computed Tomography


Portugal is ranked within the 10 countries with the most dinosaur taxa and the Lourinhã Formation is known by the Late Jurassic findings of dinosaurs and other fossils. In many cases, studies of the external morphological characteristics of the fossils are not sufficient to extract all the information for a paleontological study and, thus, observations of internal structures, using non-destructive techniques, are required. The fossils studied in the present work belong to the Museum of Lourinhã. The access to the Geesthacht Neutron Facility in Germany allowed us to characterize a jaw of the dinosaur Baryonyx walkeri specimen and the jaw of a crocodile (possibly a Tomistomidae) by Neutron Tomography. The study allowed us to detect the presence of teeth inside the jaws and it provides valuable information about the development of its dental characteristics. Synchrotron radiation based micro-computed tomography studies on tiny samples have been performed at the beamline HARWI II operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht at the storage ring DORIS III at the Deutsches Elektronen–Synchrotron DESY in Hamburg, Germany. The first data recorded for eggshells collected in the Lourinhã Formation is shown. It allowed us to visualize the morphology of the pores and their connectivity in the eggshells, providing information that is either exceedingly difficult or impossible to obtain by traditional methods based on section cutting.

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Martins, R.M., Beckmann, F., Castanhinha, R. et al. Dinosaur and Crocodile Fossils from the Mesozoic of Portugal: Neutron Tomography and Synchrotron-Radiation Based Micro-Computed Tomography. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1319, 203 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1557/opl.2011.794

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