Backscattered electron imaging of fossils exceptionally-preserved as organic compressions reveals anatomical details that are not evident either under incident light or in secondary electron images. The method can be used to differentiate between anatomical features that are superimposed, lack relief, and compressed essentially to a single plane. In situ observation is possible, removing the need to liberate the fossil from the matrix by either chemical or physical means, both of which have their limitations. Fossils exceptionally preserved, at least in part, as organic compressions are characteristic of a large number of Konservat Lagerstätten, and the method has significant potential for elucidating aspects of their morphology.

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