U/Pb geochronology of fossil fish dentine from Romualdo Formation, Araripe Basin, northeast of Brazil

Alcina M.F. Barreto, Anelise L. Bertotti, Paul J. Sylvester, Ludmila A.C. do Prado, Rilda C. Araripe, David H. de Oliveira, Maria E.T.R. Tomé, Flávia A.P. Lemos, Luis R.L. do Nascimento, Priscilla A. Pereira, Ali Ihsan Albayrak

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Absolute dating of sedimentary rocks and fossils from the Mesozoic are still rare, mainly due to the difficulties arising from diagenetic changes. Diagenesis promotes changes in the primary structure and chemical composition of biomineralization, which should remain unchanged from the time of deposition and fossilization. Three bioapatite teeth extracted from a jaw fragment of Cladocyclus gardneri from the Romualdo Formation, Araripe Basin, Northeastern Brazil were dated by the U/Pb method in order to obtain an absolute age. The rocks that contain this fossil are dated to Aptian by biostratigraphy of palynomorphs (Sergipea variverrucata biozone, Petrobras P-270), ostracods (Damonella grandiensis biozone, Petrobras) and from the international biozoning of planktonic foraminifera Microhedbergella miniglobularis. The teeth were mounted in 25 mm epoxy resin rounds, imaged by optical microscope and SEM and dated with a Nu Instruments AttoM single-collector ICP-MS coupled to an NWR193nm UC (Ultra Compact) ArF excimer laser system. A Discordia U–Pb date obtained from three separate Cladocyclus gardneri dentine is 110.5 ± 7.4 Ma (2s, MSWD = 2.6), consistent with the biostratigraphic age. This date was based on 155 integrations of line scan analyses (spot size of 30 μm, scan moved at 2 μm per second/100 μm in total length). 238U/206Pb ratios that differed from the mean value by more than 2SD for each tooth were excluded based on the likelihood they reflect U-redistribution during fossilization/post-fossilization fluid alteration. Remaining variations in 238U/206Pb and 207Pb/206Pb ratios along the Discordia reflect variable contributions from common Pb, both within and between the three teeth. They reflect primary U/Pb compositions given that they date the expected age of fossilization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103774
JournalJournal of South American Earth Sciences
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Aptian-albian
  • Araripe basin
  • Bioapatite
  • Cladocyclus gardneri
  • U/Pb geochronology


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