UVC light reveals that this Asian rhino skull is made up of a mosaic of material – so much that it has more in common with a work of art than a skeleton. The skull includes bones from at least two other sources (pink areas), which the scientists suspect came from two other, unknown fossil specimens. The dull, dark purple is plaster, paint or adhesive. There is some original bone: the glowing green portions on the top of the specimen, mouth and bottom jaw.
UVC light reveals that this Asian rhino skull is made up of a mosaic of material – so much that it has more in common with a work of art than a skeleton. The skull includes bones from at least two other sources (pink areas), which the scientists suspect came from two other, unknown fossil specimens. The dull, dark purple is plaster, paint or adhesive. There is some original bone: the glowing green portions on the top of the specimen, mouth and bottom jaw.
No one knew that this tiny fossilized shark, only a few centimeters long, had its gill anatomy preserved until it was examined under UVB illumination (right). In turn, a picture taken under polarized light (left) shows the outline of the body and vertebrae, which is further enhanced when the shark is viewed under oblique visible light (middle).
This fossil gar fish came to a museum collection in pieces (left). Fossil preparators made it look like it was all in one piece (middle) but UVA light easily reveals its fractured history. The adhesive holding the fossil together appears bright blue under the UV light (right).
Under visible light, this turtle fossil's bones are the same sandy color as the surrounding rock (left). UVA light makes it easy to differentiate between the two (left).
Different lighting types and directions emphasize different features in this fossilized gar's scales. Left: polarized visible light. Middle: visible light from the top. Right: visible light from the left.