MadSci Network: Chemistry

Subject: What are chemical details of fossil formation.

Date: Thu Nov 18 18:17:41 1999
Posted by Peter Christensen
Grade level: nonaligned School: No school entered.
City: Malibu State/Province: CA Country: USA
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 942967061.Ch

Fossils often carry details on organic structures that have been replaced. 
What happens chemically that preserves detailed structural info. For 
example: fossil tree rings have variations in mineral structure...some 
rings are opaque some are translucent. Bones start as mineral structures 
but they are transformed too...what happens in transformation at micro 
level. Do partially transformed fossils exist? Why not?
Dinosaur dies in mud or volcanic ash and gets covered with fine ash. Why 
couldn't the covering "slow cook" in a way that seals in in 
amber. Why is fossil dinosaur bone harder than surrounding 
sediments....aren't the minerals in the sediments the source of the bone 
Is any of bone mineral left behind? i.e. can we see any isotope ratios
that were in original structure....Calcium/Oxygen isotopes for example.
Where does the Calcium go? 

Re: What are chemical details of fossil formation.

Current Queue | Current Queue for Chemistry | Chemistry archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Chemistry.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-1999. All rights reserved.