Crystallography and diagenesis in fossil craniid brachiopods


Pérez-Huerta A, Cusack M & England J (2007) Crystallography and diagenesis in fossil craniid brachiopods. Palaeontology, 50 (4), pp. 757-763.

One of the fundamental questions in biomineralization is how organisms control crystallographic orientation during biomineral production. The understanding of how diagenetic changes influence the preservation of original crystallographic patterns in fossilized biomineral structures provides a priori fundamental information for such an assessment. Fossil craniid brachiopods Petrocrania scabiosa (Late Ordovician) and Crania craniolaris (Late Cretaceous) are analysed using electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) to provide crystallographic data at high spatial resolution in the structural context. EBSD analyses show that P. scabiosa maintains most of the original crystallographic signature, including data from individual calcite tablets and laminae, while C. craniolaris only retains fragmentary crystallographic data reflecting the crystallographic continuity of tablets across laminae. Data show that the preservation of the original crystallographic signature is independent of that of shell ultrastructure and geological time. In addition, results allow us to propose a series of steps in the evolution of 'crystallographic loss' due to diagenesis.

Biomineral; calcite; c-axis; electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD)

Palaeontology: Volume 50, Issue 4

Publication date31/07/2007
Publication date online17/07/2007
Date accepted by journal22/02/2007