By: Josh LebronIn the past, scientists have been able to predict how much mold may be present in a mold fossil.
Now scientists can use the mold fossil to determine how mold is affecting the mineralogy and chemical composition of the fossil.
Scientists have previously known that some fossilized mold fossils contain high levels of certain minerals and chemicals that can change the mineralogical and chemical compositions of the fossils.
Now, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have developed a way to use the fossil as a molecular model to identify how mold affects the mineraloclast and the chemical composition.
“The mold fossils of Mesozoic plants and animals are a common source of microbial diversity in sedimentary rocks.
In particular, fossilized organisms have long been known to contain mineraloccoliths that provide a molecular fingerprint for the mineral’s mineralogy,” said R. Daniel V. Pacheco, a doctoral student in the UT Department of Geology and Palaeontology, in a news release.
“The study is the first to use a mold mineral to identify the mineral composition of fossilized fossilized Mesozoites, and to examine how the mineral changes over time.”
To conduct the study, researchers analyzed the mineral content of Mesotonychus lupus by analyzing samples of a fossilized plant from an area in southeastern California known as the Santa Maria Formation.
The fossil contains a lot of mineralocclusions.
These are microscopic holes that form when the molding agent is dissolved in water.
In the Santa María Formation, the mold accumulates in the mold mineral.
The researchers then used a molecular probe to analyze the mineral in the fossil by detecting the mineralic fingerprint.
They then compared the mineral properties of the mold fossils with the mineral compositions in the Santamaria fossil and found that the mineral contained the same mineral acids as the fossil’s fossilized soil.
“This shows that the mold’s mineral chemistry is similar to the soil,” Pacheko said.
“And it also demonstrates that mold is an important source of mineral-rich rocks in fossilized plants and in fossils from Mesozoics.”
Pacheco’s team has been studying the mold in a variety of ways over the years.
He has conducted multiple studies on the mineral structure and chemical makeup of the plant’s mold fossils.
He also is working on an in-depth study of mold in the plant and fossil that will focus on the microbial community of the dinosaur fossil.
The researchers plan to publish their findings in a peer-reviewed journal next year.