• “Hope” is the thing with feathers: how useful are cyclomethicones when cleaning taxidermy?

      Allington-Jones, L (NatSCA, 2020-10-01)
      Silicone solvents have extreme hydrophobicity so they can be used as a temporary barrier to aqueous cleaning solutions. They are characterised as having low odour, moderately low toxicity, low polarity and surface tension. They are 100% volatile so will leave no trace behind. Silicone solvents could potentially be used to flood the skin of taxidermy specimens, to provide a barrier whilst fur or feathers are cleaned, and even permit the use of heat treatments without causing damage to the skin. They will not cause drying or swelling and will not dissolve or mobilise any skin components such as dyes or fats, which would normally be adversely affected by water or other solvents. They are also, in theory, safe to use on skin which has suffered so much deterioration that the shrinkage temperature is close to room temperature. Different classes of silicone solvents have different working times and this article explores 3 of these, and their practical applicability when cleaning taxidermy.
    • Hydroxyferroroméite, a new secondary weathering mineral from Oms, France

      Mills, S; Christy, A; Rumsey, M; Spratt, J; Bittarello, E; Favreau, G; Ciriotti, M; Berbain, C (2017-04-28)
      Hydroxyferroroméite, ideally (Fe2+ 1.5[]0.5)Sb5+ 2O6(OH), is a new secondary mineral from the Correc d'en Llinassos, Oms, Pyrénées-Orientales Department, France. Hydroxyferroroméite occurs as yellow to yellow-brown powdery boxwork replacements up to about 50μm across after tetrahedrite in a siderite–quartz matrix. No distinct crystals have been observed. The empirical formula (based on 7 (O + OH) per formula unit, pfu) is (Fe2+ 1.07Cu2+ 0.50Zn0.03Sr0.03Ca 0.01[]0.36)Σ2 (Sb5+ 1.88Si0.09Al0.02As0.01)Σ2 O6 ((OH)0.86 O0.14). X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy was used to determine the valence states of Sb, Fe and Cu. Hydroxyferroroméite crystallises in the space group Fd3 m with the pyrochlore structure and hence is a new Fe2+ -dominant member of the roméite group of the pyrochlore supergroup. It has the unit-cell parameters: a = 10.25(3) Å, V = 1077(6) Å3 and Z = 8. A model, based on bond-valence theory, for incorporation of the small Fe2+ cation into a displaced variant of the A site of the pyrochlore structure is proposed.
    • Hypervelocity impact in low earth orbit: finding subtle impactor signatures on the Hubble Space Telescope

      Kearsley, AT; Colaux, JL; Ross, DK; Wozniakiewicz, PL; Gerlach, L; Anz-Meador, P; Griffin, T; Reed, B; Opiela, J; Palitsin, VV; et al. (2017)

      Kearsley, AT; Colaux, JL; Wozniakiewicz, PJ; Gerlach, L; Anz-Meador, P; Liou, JC; Griffin, T; Reed, B; Opiela, J; Palitsin, VV; et al. (2018-04)
      HYPERVELOCITY IMPACT IN LOW EARTH ORBIT: FINDING SUBTLE IMPACTOR SIGNATURES ON THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE A T Kearsley 1,2,5, J L Colaux 3, D K Ross 4, P J Wozniakiewicz 2,5, L Gerlach 6, P Anz-Meador 4, J-C Liou 7, T Griffin 8, B Reed 8, J Opiela 4, V V Palitsin 3, G W Grime 3, R P Webb 3, C Jeynes 3, J Spratt 2, M J Cole 5, M C Price 5 and M J Burchell 5. 1 Dunholme, Raven Hall Road, Ravenscar, YO13 0NA, UK (kearsleys@runbox.com); 2 Natural History Museum (NHM), Cromwell Road, London, UK. 3 Ion Beam Centre, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK. 4 ESCG-Jacobs, NASA-JSC, Houston, TX, USA. 5 School of Physical Sciences, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, UK. 6 European Space Agency (ESA, retired), Noordwijk, The Netherlands. 7 NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, USA. 8 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, Maryland, USA. ABSTRACT Introduction Return of large surface area components from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) during shuttle orbiter service missions has allowed inspection of large numbers of hyper-velocity impact features from long exposure in low Earth orbit (LEO). Particular attention has been paid to the origin of the impacting particles, whether artificial Orbital Debris (OD) or natural Micrometeoroid (MM). Extensive studies have been made of solar cells (Graham et al., 2001; Kearsley et al 2005, Moussi et al., 2005) and recently, the painted metal surface of the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 WFPC2 radiator shield (Anz-Meador et al., 2013; Colaux et al., 2014; Kearsley et al., 2014a; Ross et al., 2014). Both of these materials from HST have layers of complex chemical composition, into which particle fragments and melt may infiltrate during impact. Experimental light gas gun (LGG) impacts (e.g. Price et al., 2014) have shown that impactor remains may be dispersed and dilute, often as a very thin and patchy coating within an irregular impact-generated pit. In previous studies, the low concentration of particle residue, the rugged topography of impact features, and especially the complex multi-element composition of the impacted surface were considered significant barriers to recognition of extraneous impactor-derived components. Analysis was both difficult and time consuming (e.g. Graham et al., 2001), and a substantial proportion of impactors (25-65%) could not be identified. Recent advances in energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDX) now permit routine identification of impactor origins using scanning electron microscope (SEM); particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE) and micro-X-ray fluorescence (µ-XRF) instruments (Kearsley et al., 2012, 2014b). Here we demonstrate how these techniques have allowed impactor composition to be isolated, and the particle source determined for the great majority of WFPC2 samples studied. Methods To analyse impact melt on the zinc orthotitanate (ZOT) and aluminium alloy (Al-6061) of the WFPC2 radiator shield we used the Oxford Instruments INCA SEM-EDX spectrum pro-cessing software to separate peak and background X-ray counts for specified X-ray emission lines. From tables of likely OD and MM signature elements (e.g. Kearsley et al., 2005), and knowledge of the pristine WFPC paint and alloy compositions, we extracted data for the fol-lowing elements: Mg, Al, Si, S, K, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu and Zn. Two types of graphical plot were developed, to highlight extraneous element signatures in small impacts on the ZOT paint (Fig. 1), and larger craters into the Al-alloy (Fig. 2). The impactor origin was then clas-sified by reference to a suite of decision trees (Kearsley et al., 2012). A Bruker X-Flash 6050 EDX detector was also used to obtain signal from the interior of deeper craters. PIXE maps and spectra were acquired in the Ion Beam Centre, University of Surrey (Colaux et al., 2014). Results Figure 1. WFPC2 impact feature 339: a) SEM backscattered electron (BE) image; b) SEM depth model; c) SEM-EDX maps show high Mg concentration in the impact melt lining the impact feature d) plots of SEM-EDX X-ray counts for Mg and Fe show much higher levels in impact melt (red) than in clean ZOT paint (blue), and a similar level to impact residue from LGG impacts of olivine grains (open black squares). Excess Mg and Fe contents in frothy impact melt show impactor was a micrometeoroid. Figure 2). WFPC2 impact feature 462: a) SEM BE image; b) SEM depth profile; c and d) PIXE EDX maps show Fe and Ni across crater pit and surrounding metal, some iron-rich in-clusions in the Al alloy, but Ni only enriched in pit; e) PIXE EDX spectra show high Fe and Ni on crater floor, similar to micrometeoroid metal composition; f) plot of Mg/Al versus Cr/Fe X-ray counts in SEM-EDX spectra from the crater edge (red) show enrichment of Mg and Fe over alloy composition (black, grey, yellow and green), indicating a mafic silicate mi-crometeoroid component has also been added from the impacted micrometeoroid. Summary and conclusions Together, SEM-EDX and PIXE-EDX maps, spectra and X-ray count plots showed 166 MM residues and 2 OD residues in this survey of 188 impact features on WFPC2, ~ 90% of those examined, considerable enhancement of impactor recognition over an earlier study of HST impacts (~75% identified as MM or OD in origin, Kearsley et al., 2005). Acknowledgements ESA contract 40001105713/12/NL/GE awarded to NHM and the University of Surrey; Bruker for expertise in use of the X-Flash detector and loan of the M4 Tornado µ-XRF. References quoted Anz-Meador P. et al. (2013) Proc. 6th European Conf. Space Debris, ESA SP 723: s1b_anzme.pdf, CD-ROM. Colaux J. L. et al. (2014) LPSC 45 Abstract #1727. Graham, G.A. et al. (2001) Proc. 3rd European Conf. Space Debris, ESA SP 473:197–203. Kearsley A.T. et al., (2005) Adv. Space Res. 35:1254–1262. Kearsley A. T. et al. (2012) Technical Note 1 for ESA contract 40001105713/12/NL/GE. Kearsley A. T. et al. (2014a) LPSC 45 abstract #1722. Kearsley A.T. et al. (2014b) LPSC 45 abstract #1733. Moussi A. et al. (2005) Adv. Space Res. 35:1243–1253. Price M. C. et al. (2014) LPSC 45 abstract #1466. Ross D. K. et al. (2014) LPSC 45 abstract #1514.
    • iCollections

      Paterson, GLJ; Albuquerque, S; Blagoderov, V; Brooks, S; Cafferty, S; Cane, E; Carter, V; Chainey, J; Crowther, R; Douglas, L; et al. (2016-06-03)
      iCollections specimens
    • Identification of fossil worm tubes from Phanerozoic hydrothermal vents and cold seeps

      Georgieva, MN; Little, CTS; Watson, JS; Sephton, MA; Ball, AD; Glover, AG (2017-12-28)
    • Identification of Shell Colour Pigments in Marine Snails Clanculus pharaonius and C. margaritarius (Trochoidea; Gastropoda)

      Williams, ST; Ito, S; Wakamatsu, K; Goral, T; Edwards, NP; Wogelius, RA; Henkel, T; de Oliveira, LFC; Maia, LF; Strekopytov, S; et al. (2016-07-01)
    • IMp: The customizable LEGO® Pinned Insect Manipulator

      Dupont, S; Price, BW; Blagoderov, V (2015-02-04)
    • Impact vaporization and Condensation: Laser Irradiation Experiments with Natural Planetary Materials

      Hamann, C; Hecht, L; Schäffer, S; Heunoske, D; Salge, T; Garbout, A; Osterholz, J; Greshake, A (The Woodlands, Texas, USA, 2018)
    • Inselect: Automating the Digitization of Natural History Collections

      Hudson, L; Blagoderov, V; Heaton, A; Holtzhausen, P; Livermore, L; Price, BW; van der Walt, S; Smith, V; Cellinese, N (2015-11-23)
    • Mastodon and on and on…a moving story

      Allington-Jones, L (NatSCA, 2018-02-01)
      This is the latest chapter in the history of the mastodon (Mammut americanum (Kerr, 1792)) specimen on display at the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London (UK), and continues from the story told by Lindsay (1991). The specimen was selected to be one of the new exhibits for the Wonder Bays of the refurbished Hintze Hall, at the heart of the Waterhouse building. Residing, until recently, on open display in a different exhibition space, the mastodon required stabilisation and careful dismantling before transportation and reassembly in its new site.
    • Mechanisms for the generation of HREE mineralization in carbonatites: Evidence from Huanglongpu, China.

      Smith, M; Cangelosi, D; Yardley, B; Wenlei Song, CX; Spratt, J (The Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits, 2019-12-30)
      The Hunaglongpu carbonatites, Qinling Mountains, China, are exceptional as they form both an economic Mo resource, and are enriched in the HREE compared to typical carbonatites, giving a metal profile that may closely match projected future demand. The carbonatites at the level currently exposed appear to be transitional between magmatic and hydrothermal processes. The multistage dykes and veins are cored by quartz which hosts a fluid inclusion assemblage with a high proportion of sulphate daughter or trapped minerals, and later stage, cross-cutting veins are rich in barite-celestine. The REE mineral paragenesis evolves from monazite, through apatite and bastnäsite to Ca-REE fluorcabonates, with an increase in HREE enrichment at every stage. Radio-isotope ratios are typical of enriched mantle sources and sulphur stable isotopes are consistent with magmatic S sources. However, Mg stable isotopes are consistent with a component of recycled subducted marine carbonate in the source region, The HREE enrichment is a function of both unusual mantle source for the primary magmas and REE mobility and concentration during post-magmatic modification in a sulphate-rich hydrothermal system. Aqueous sulphate is a none specific ligand for the REE, and this coupled with crystal fraction lead to HREE enrichment during subsolidus alteration.
    • Mineralization of Alvinella polychaete tubes at hydrothermal vents

      Georgieva, MN; Little, CTS; Ball, AD; Glover, AG (2015-03)
    • The mineralogy of the effusive silicate rocks from the Mosonik volcano, Northern Tanzania.

      Sedova, AM; Zaitsev, AN; Spratt, J (Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Anlytical Chemistry of Russian Academy of Sciences (GEOKHI RAS), 2018-10-01)
      International Conference on Magmatism of the Earth and Related Strategic Metal Deposits 3-7 September, 2018 Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry of Russian Academу of Sciences, Moscow, Russia. The mineralogy of the effusive silicate rocks from the Mosonik volcano, Northern Tanzania Sedova А.М.1, Zaitsev A.N.1,2, J. Spratt2 1 Department of Mineralogy, St. Petersburg State University, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, e-mail: a.sedova@spbu.ru 2Department of Core Research Laboratories, Natural History Museum, London, UK The Mosonik volcano belongs to the Neogene-Resent volcanics of the Natron-Engaruka region of the East African Rift system. It is one of several stratovolcanoes located on the northeastern tip of the Gregory Rift Valley. Mosonik is attributed as having the earliest phase of eruptions in this province (Dawson, 2008) and is dated in the range 3.18-1.28 Ma (Isaac & Curtis, 1974; Dawson, 2008). In 1961, it was mapped by the Tanganyika Geological Survey (Guest et al., 1961), with published data (Paslick et al., 1996) on the composition of minerals from basanites, nephelinites and phonolites. According to the results of this study the compositions of melilite and nephelinite, Zaitsev et al. (2015) have indicated that the Mosonik volcano could be a potential source for the Upper Laetolil Footprint Tuff 7. According to our data the main effusive rocks of Mosonic are various nephelinites and phonolites, quite often they contain xenoliths of plutonic rocks: melteigites, foyaites, ijolites, and rocks of the enclosing stratum (andesites). Carbonatites mostly occur as boulders of various sizes within creek deposits. Among nephelinites there are nephelinites s.s., phonolitic nephelinites, calcite-phonolite nephelinites and melilite nephelinites. Microphenocrysts are represented by nepheline (45-60%), pyroxenes of diopside-hedenbergite solid solution, in some cases with aegirine edging (15-30%), apatite (3-10%) and titanite (3-10%). Calcite content reaches 10% within the calcite varieties of nephelinites; sanidine up to 10% in phonolitic nephelinites, which are strongly altered. Melilite nephelinites are also characterized by the following coposition: melilite (20%), perovskite (5%), sherlomite (3%). In rare cases within the nephelinites there are microphenocrysts of nepheline. Phonolites are represented by the following species: phonolites, sodalite phonolites and calcite phonolites. Phenocrysts are represented by nepheline (40-65%), pyroxenes of the diopside-hedenbergite series, rarely with aegirine edging (10-50%), sanidine (15-40%), Mg-Fe mica (0-5%), titanite (1-10%), and apatite (0-8%). In these rocks a large number of macrophenic crystals of nepheline, pyroxene, and often sanidine are observed. The work is supported by Russian Foundation of Basic Research (grant 18-05-00835) and St. Petersburg State University (Geomodel Resource Center) References Dawson J. B. The Gregory Rift Valley and Neogene-Recent Volcanoes of Northern Tanzania. London. 2008. 112 pp. Guest N. J., James, T. C Pickering R., and Dawson J. B. Angata salei. Geol. Surv. Tanganyika. Quarter degree sheet 39. 1961 Isaac, G. L. & Curtis, G. H. Age of the Acheulian industries from the Peninj Group, Tanzania // Nature. 1974. p.249. Paslick, C., Halliday, A. N., Lange, R. A., James, D. & Dawson, J. B. Indirect crustal contamination: evidence from isotopic and chemical disequilibria in minerals from alkali basalts and nephelinites from northern Tanzania // Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology. Vol. 125. 1996. 277–292. Zaitsev A.N., Spratt J., Sharygin V.V., Wenzel T., Zaitseva O.A., Markl G. Mineralogy of the Laetolil Footprint Tuff: A comparison with possible volcanic sources from the Crater Highlands and Gregory Rift // Journal of African Earth Sciences. Vol. 111. 2015. pp. 214–221.
    • The mitochondrial genome of Parascaris univalens - implications for a “forgotten” parasite

      Jabbar, A; Littlewood, T; Mohandas, N; Briscoe, AG; Foster, PG; Müller, F; von Samson-Himmelstjerna, G; Jex, AR; Gasser, RB (2014)
    • A New Method for the Restoration of Palaeontological Specimens Mounted in Canada balsam

      Allington-Jones, L (Natural Sciences Collections Association (NatSCA ), 2008)
      Many museums contain slides mounted with Canada balsam. If this resin is poorly prepared, it can become crazed. Examples can be found within the British Type Graptolite Collection at the Natural History Museum, London. These are delicate dendroids prepared using the transfer technique. A search of the available literature and communication with museum workers highlighted suggestions for methods to rescue the cracked slides. These methods were tested, and the most suitable method proved to be a double transfer technique utilising carbowax. This technique may be used to rescue any specimen which is mounted in Canada balsam and which possesses an exposed surface. It is particularly important for the conservation of fragile specimens.
    • A new metriorhynchid crocodylomorph from the Oxford Clay Formation (Middle Jurassic) of England, with implications for the origin and diversification of Geosaurini

      Foffa, Davide; Young, Mark T; Brusatte, Stephen L; Graham, M; Steel, Lorna (Taylor and Francis, 2017-10-02)
      Metriorhynchids are an extinct group of Jurassic–Cretaceous crocodylomorphs secondarily adapted to a marine lifestyle. A new metriorhynchid crocodylomorph from the Oxford Clay Formation (Callovian, Middle Jurassic) of England is described. The specimen is a large, fragmentary skull and associated single ramus of a lower jaw uniquely preserved in a septarian concretion. The description of the specimen reveals a series of autapomorphies (apicobasal flutings on the middle labial surface of the tooth crowns, greatly enlarged basoccipital tuberosities) and a unique combination of characters that warrant the creation of a new genus and species: Ieldraan melkshamensis gen. et sp. nov. This taxon shares numerous characters with the Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous genus Geosaurus: tooth crowns that have three apicobasal facets on their labial surface, subtly ornamented skull and lower jaws elements, and reception pits along the lateral margin of the dentary (maxillary overbite). Phylogenetic analysis places this new species as the sister taxon to Geosaurus. The new taxon adds valuable information on the time of origin of the macrophagous subclade Geosaurini, which was initially thought to have evolved and radiated during the Late Jurassic. The presence of Ieldraan melkshamensis, the phylogenetic re-evaluation of Suchodus durobrivensis as a Plesiosuchus sister taxon and recently identified Callovian Dakosaurus-like specimens in the Oxford Clay Formation, indicate that all major Geosaurini lineages originated earlier than previously supposed. This has major implications for the evolution of macropredation in the group. Specifically, we can now demonstrate that the four different forms of true ziphodonty observed in derived geosaurins independently evolved from a single non-functional microziphodont common ancestor.