Earliest Fossiliferous Amber and Associated Plants from the Late Cretaceous - early Paleogene South Polar Greenhouse of Australia and Chatham Islands

  • Stilwell, Jeffrey (Primary Chief Investigator (PCI))
  • Mays, Chris (Chief Investigator (CI))

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

The primary objective of the experiment is to 'virtually extract' the only recorded plant reproductive structures (seed cones/flowers) and amber fossils from ancient South Polar environments of the Cretaceous via a combination of X-ray micro-CT and Neutron Radiography, using the new DINGO facility. This 3-D imaging will be non-destructive compared with the traditional means of extracting fossils by hand, employing pneumatic drills, which nearly always result in some damage, irrespective of care. Moreover, the only way to view and image bioinclusions in amber is to study the fossils by light microscope and/or micro-CT scanning technology. Synchrotron imaging is possible, but not at the Australian Synchrotron (AS), which does not currently have the capabilities of high resolution imaging of fossils in amber. Trial imaging of bioinclusions at the AS proved unsuccessful. Strategic fossils will be selected for the imaging experiment, so as to maximise success of 3-D imaging of the individual specimens. In this way, the specific capabilities of the techniques relative to resolution outcomes will be assessed in the most productive way.
Effective start/end date1/07/1631/12/16


  • Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)