Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) is being used in the micropalaeontology unit to create incredible images of our most important specimens.
CLSM overcomes some of the main limitations and disadvantages of conventional light microscopy and electron microscopy for imaging palynological specimens.
Although conventional light microscopy is the tool most widely used in the investigation of palynomorphs, it has limitations:
In comparison, electron microscopy offers an enormous information gain and also avoids the depth of field problem. But it demands delicate, time-consuming preparation techniques, and the study of conventional strew mounts is not possible.
The application of CLSM to fossil dinoflagellate cysts offers an exciting alternative to both and has been used successfully (Feist-Burkhardt and Pross, 1999).
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Feist-Burkhardt S and Pross J (1999) Morphological analysis and description of Middle Jurassic dinoflagellate cyst marker species using confocal laser scanning microscopy, digital optical microscopy and conventional light microscopy. Bulletin du Centre de Recherches Elf Exploration Production,  22(1): 103-145.