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Tooth fossil, SEM

Tooth fossil, SEM

E445/0323

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Credit

STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Tooth fossil. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a fossilised canine tooth of the extinct Puerto Rican shrew (Nesophontes edithae). This shrew was endemic (localised) to western Puerto Rico and fed mainly on insects. It became extinct after the introduction of rats and the destruction of its forest habitat. Fossilisation is a process in which organic matter is slowly replaced by minerals, preserving the form of the original tissue. This fossil dates back to the Late Pleistocene epoch (about 126,000 years ago).

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