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Raman investigation of the pigment families in recent and fossil brachiopod shells

TitleRaman investigation of the pigment families in recent and fossil brachiopod shells
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsGaspard, D, Paris, C, Loubry, P, Luquet, G
JournalSpectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Volume208
Pagination73-84
Date Published09/2018
KeywordsFossils Pigments, Raman spectroscopy, Recent brachiopods, Shell patterns, UV light
Abstract

Shells of the three subphyla of extant and extinct representatives of the phylum Brachiopoda display coloured patterns with diverse shapes and at different degrees. These colourations are readily visible in natural light but are best revealed under UV light for the fossils concerned. To identify these pigments, Raman spectroscopy has been used for the first time on brachiopod shells. The widespread identified pigments belong to the carotenoid family, best represented in all the animal kingdom, the second one concerns themelanin/melanin-like pigments and, surprisingly, additional molecules of the cytochrome family are revealed for the first time in one of the brachiopod shells studied. The putative functions of shell pigmentation, still under debate, are discussed.