Tomografia Computorizada na Deteccão de Fraudes em Fósseis

Rita, F., Mateus O., & Overbeeke M. (2008).  Tomografia Computorizada na Deteccão de Fraudes em Fósseis. Acta Radiológica Portuguesa. 80, 83-84., Number 20


The material in analysis is the skull of an Ornitiquous Psittacosaurus of the China Cretaceous suspicious of being a fraud. The fossil described here appeared to be in very good condition and conservation. The skull is almost complete but because it is filled by sediment, this prevents an analyse of the intra-skull anatomy.
With the intuition of confirming or not the existence of fossiled bone elements in the interior of the sedimented mass that filled the Psittacossaurus skull, it was submitted to a Computorized Tomography.
The Psittacosaurus skull showed an unexpected absorption of the x-rays, because of the outstanding differences of density between the bone and the matrix due to the fact that the interior of the skull was composed by an amalgam of materials, where a less compact and relatively homogeneous material (soil and wax) was found and that material united and mounted the whole skull and the normal bone structures were non-existing.
The capacity of the Computorized Axial Tomography of differentiating materials with different densities of absorption of x-rays, permitted an easy and reliable investigation and explained beyond doubt the quality of the fossil specimen studied, concluding with no doubt that in spite of the realistic aspect, we had come before a fraud.



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