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Volume 37, issue 1 | Copyright
J. Micropalaeontol., 37, 249-256, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 05 Feb 2018

Research article | 05 Feb 2018

Modified cleaning method for biomineralized components

Hideto Tsutsui1,a and Richard W. Jordan1 Hideto Tsutsui and Richard W. Jordan
  • 1Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Yamagata University, 1-4-12 Kojirakawa-machi, Yamagata 990-8560, Japan
  • acurrent address: Marine Microorganism Ecology, Division of Marine Biology & Dynamics, Department of Fisheries, Faculty of Fisheries, Nagasaki University, Bunkyo-cho 1-14, Nagasaki 852-8521, Japan

Abstract. The extraction and concentration of biomineralized components from sediment or living materials is time consuming and laborious and often involves steps that remove either the calcareous or siliceous part, in addition to organic matter. However, a relatively quick and easy method using a commercial cleaning fluid for kitchen drains, sometimes combined with a kerosene soaking step, can produce remarkable results. In this study, the method is applied to sediments and living materials bearing calcareous (e.g., coccoliths, foraminiferal tests, holothurian ossicles, ichthyoliths, and fish otoliths) and siliceous (e.g., diatom valves, silicoflagellate skeletons, and sponge spicules) components. The method preserves both components in the same sample, without etching or partial dissolution, but is not applicable to unmineralized components such as dinoflagellate thecae, tintinnid loricae, pollen, or plant fragments.

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Short summary
Most standard microfossil cleaning methods are time-consuming and involve hazardous and costly chemicals (acids and toxic substances), which may dissolve either the calcareous or siliceous components. The method presented in this study uses a low-cost domestic pipe cleaner, which is quick and easy to handle and dispose of. Both the calcareous and siliceous components are retained in remarkable condition. Thus, it is a highly recommended, cost-efficient, and environmentally friendly method.
Most standard microfossil cleaning methods are time-consuming and involve hazardous and costly...