Crystallographic orientation of cuttlebone shield determined by electron backscatter diffraction

Cusack, M. and Chung, P. (2014) Crystallographic orientation of cuttlebone shield determined by electron backscatter diffraction. JOM, 66(1), pp. 139-142. (doi:10.1007/s11837-013-0804-z)

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In common with many cephalopod mollusks, cuttlefish produce an internal biomineral buoyancy device. This cuttlebone is analogous to a surf board in shape and structure, providing rigidity and a means of controlling buoyancy. The cuttlebone is composed of calcium carbonate in the form of aragonite and comprises an upper dorsal shield and a lower lamellar matrix. The lamellar matrix comprises layers of chambers with highly corrugated walls. The dorsal shield comprises bundles of aragonite needles stacked on top of each other. Electron backscatter diffraction analyses of the dorsal shield reveal that the c-axis of aragonite is parallel with the long axis of the needles in the bundles such that any spread in crystallographic orientation is consistent with the spread in orientation of the fibers as they radiate to form the overall structure of the dorsal shield. This arrangement of c-axis coincident with the long axis of the biomineral structure is similar to the arrangement in corals and in contrast to the situation in the molluskan aragonite nacre of brachiopod calcite where the c-axis is perpendicular to the aragonite tablet or calcite fiber, respectively.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cusack, Professor Maggie and Chung, Mr Peter
Authors: Cusack, M., and Chung, P.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:JOM
ISSN (Online):1543-1851

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