An Asian rhino skull under UV C light. The different colors indicate a mosaic of material, including bones from other unknown fossil specimens (pink) and plaster or paint (dark purple). The green color is from the original bone the same Asian rhino skull as on the previous page but in visible light. Bone and plaster blend perfectly together — making for an attractive skull, but a lousy scientific specimen. Credit: Mike Eklund.
Different lighting conditions reveal new details about the anatomy of a tiny fossilized shark held by the Lauer Foundation for Paleontology, Science and Education (specimen #lf1657p). No one knew that the shark’s gill anatomy was preserved until it was examined with progressive photonics. Lighting conditions: Top (L to R): ambient, oblique, polarized. Bottom: UV B. Credit: Mike Eklund.
The scales of a fossilized gar under different conditions. Top (L to R): Oblique lighting shows scale height and arrangement; small fractures appear on the scales under polarized light; the prepared fossil under ambient conditions. Credit: Mike Eklund. Bottom: The adhesive holding together the fossil fluoresces in bright blue streaks under UV A light.
The bones and shell of a turtle fossil blend in with the surrounding rock under ambient lighting under filtered UV A light, the distinction between rock and bone is clear. Credit: Mike Eklund.