How Do Silica Tetrahedra Work? – A #UREES101 #GoodQuestion

Most common rock-forming minerals on Earth belong to a group of minerals called silicates. Silicates are distinguished from other minerals by the silica tetrahedron (sometimes called the silicate tetrahedron), a structural unit composed of one silicon atom surrounded by four oxygen atoms that bond directly to the silicon. This gives it the chemical formula ofContinue reading “How Do Silica Tetrahedra Work? – A #UREES101 #GoodQuestion”

Infrared Light and the Quality of Fossil Preservation – #365papers – 2018 – 62

Beasley, Bartelink, Taylor, and Miller, 2014, Comparison of transmission FTIR, ATR, and DRIFT spectra: implications for assessment of bone bioapatite diagenesis: Journal of ARchaeological Science, v. 46, p. 16-22. What’s it about? One of the challenges of studying the chemistry of fossil bones and teeth is being confident that the chemistry of the fossils isContinue reading “Infrared Light and the Quality of Fossil Preservation – #365papers – 2018 – 62”

Clay Keeps Records of Ancient Water – #365papers – 2018 – 56

Mix and Chamberlain, 2014, Stable isotope records of hydrologic change and paleotemperature from smectite in Cenozoic western North America: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 141, p. 532-546 What’s it about? Smectite is a specific kind of clay mineral, common in volcanic ash. This kind of clay incorporates water during its formation, which, as the authorsContinue reading “Clay Keeps Records of Ancient Water – #365papers – 2018 – 56”

Migrating Marsupials of the Pleistocene – #365papers – 2018 – 44

Price, Ferguson, Webb, Feng, Higgins, Nguyen, Zhao, Joannes-Boyau, and Louys, 2017, Seasonal migration of marsupial megafauna in Pleistocene Sahul (Australia-New Guinea): Proceedings of the Royal Society B, v. 284: 20170785 What’s it about? Seasonal migrations are seen in many large mammals. In modern animals, however, such migrations are not observed in marsupials. The authors putContinue reading “Migrating Marsupials of the Pleistocene – #365papers – 2018 – 44”

Methods for Extracting Proteins from Fossils: Paleoproteomics – #365papers – 2018 – 38

Cleland and Schroeter, 2018, A comparison of common mass spectrometry approaches for paleoproteomics: Journal of Proteome Research, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.7b00703 What’s it about? Recently, there has been great discussion about the extraction of proteins from fossils. This paper outlines various methods, and their strengths and weaknesses, for extracting proteins from ancient bones.

Using Glass to Estimate Altitude – #365papers – 2018 – 37

Dettinger and Quade, 2015, Testing the analytical protocols and calibration of volcanic glass for the reconstruction of hydrogen isotopes in paleoprecipitation, in DeCelles, Ducea, Carrapa, and Kapp, eds., Geodynamics of a Cordilleran Orogenic System: The Central Andes of Argentina and Northern Chile: Geological Society of America Memoir 212, p. 261-276. What’s it about? Isotopes ofContinue reading “Using Glass to Estimate Altitude – #365papers – 2018 – 37”

Interpreting Cretaceous Environments from Multiple Sources – #365papers – 2018 – 32

Bojar, Csiki, and Grigorescu, 2010, Stable isotope dirstibution in Maastrichtian vertebrates and paleosols from the Hateg Basin, South Carpathians: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 293, p. 329-342. What’s it about? Some late Cretaceous-aged (AKA Maastrichtian) rocks from Romania contain fossilized soils (paleosols), dinosaur bones and teeth, and dinosaur eggshells. The authors use geochemical analysis, specifically stableContinue reading “Interpreting Cretaceous Environments from Multiple Sources – #365papers – 2018 – 32”

How Can We Know When The Earth’s Atmosphere Became Oxygenated? – #365papers – 2018 – 31

Eickmann, Hofmann, Wille, Bui, Wing, and Schoenberg, 2018, Isotopic evidence for oxygenated Mesoarchaean shallow oceans: Nature Geoscience, v. 11, p. 133–138. What’s it about? Sulfur and iron atoms come in different sizes, called isotopes. The relative amounts of these isotopes can tell us a lot. In this paper, isotopes of sulfur are used to recognizeContinue reading “How Can We Know When The Earth’s Atmosphere Became Oxygenated? – #365papers – 2018 – 31”

Sabertooth, Sabertooth, How Do Your Teeth Grow? – #365papers – 2018 – 30

Feranec, 2004, Isotopic evidence of saber-tooth development, growth rate, and diet from the adult canine of Smilodon fatalis from Rancho La Brea: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 206, p. 303-310. What’s it about? Sabertoothed mammals are so named because of their massive, elongate canines. A natural question to ask is, how does it get so long?Continue reading “Sabertooth, Sabertooth, How Do Your Teeth Grow? – #365papers – 2018 – 30”

Something Something Sulfides Cobbles Granite and Collision – #365papers – 2018 – 27

Whalen, Zagorevski, McNicoll, and Rogers, 2013, Geochemistry, U-Pb geochronology, and genesis of granitoid clasts in transported volcanogenic massive sulfide ore deposits, Buchans, Newfoundland: Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, v. 50, p. 1116-1133. What’s it about? This paper is about some massive sulfide deposits (good places to finding sulfur, zinc, iron, and lead) that occur inContinue reading “Something Something Sulfides Cobbles Granite and Collision – #365papers – 2018 – 27”