exp351_033

Sev Kender (Paleontologist, University of Leicester, United Kingdom) confers with Rodrigo do Monte Guerra (Paleontologist, University of Vale do Rio dos Sinos [UNISINOS], Brazil) to determine the age of the sediment of a core. Both use microscopes to identify microfossils, which can reveal the time in history when the sediment was deposited. Sev studies foraminifers which, while visible to the unaided eye, are about the size of a pencil point. He uses a stereo microscope to enlarge the foraminifers, allowing him to identify minute differences. Rodrigo’s task is different but no less challenging. Calcareous nannofossils are microscopic in size, ranging from 8–12 µm, or 0.008–0.012 mm. He utilizes a binocular microscope with magnification settings approaching the limit of visible light. At the time this photograph was taken, the micropaleontologist team has been able to identify microorganisms which existed in the Eocene Epoch 36.9 million years ago—another “wow” factor for Expedition 351. (Credit: Bill Crawford, IODP/TAMU) [Photo ID: exp351_033]


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