Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

When will bones become fossils?

  1. Jan 11, 2006 #1
    Over how long is skeletal calcium essentially replaced by mineral depositation?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 11, 2006 #2

    matthyaouw

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I don't know too much about bones, but with calcium carbonate in sea shells, it can be very variable. Mineral replacement will vary in speed and type with rock type, pore water movement pore water chemistry etc, so its hard to give a definate answer. I'll dig through my notes tomorrow to see if I can come up with any rough figures for you. It should be noted that as long as pore water is present, dissolution, deposition and replacement of minerals won't stop, so diagenesis and fossilisation could be viewed as continuous processes.
     
  4. Jan 12, 2006 #3
    First of all, fosils are most broadly defined as remnant, impression, or trace of an organism of past geologic ages that has been preserved in the earth's crust.
    Fossil do not need to be mineralized to be fossils. From what I have observed about fossils from the North sea when caught in fish trawlers net, there is little mineralization up to 30-40,000 years. However, Eemian (Sangamonian) remains >130,000 years are heavily mineralized.
    The setback here is that those fossils can not be dated radiological because of that chemical alteration. So we assume something to be "Eemian" or "Sangamonian" from other clues. I've seen an "Eemian" vertebra of a Arctic whale that was not mineralized at all, the complete skeleton was found on a hill (!!) at one of the October revolution Islands, north of Siberia.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: When will bones become fossils?
  1. Fossils again (Replies: 3)

  2. Fossil hunting. (Replies: 22)

  3. Fossil ID? (Replies: 4)

  4. Fossil of what? (Replies: 16)

  5. No more fossil fuels! (Replies: 43)

Loading...