The Beginning of Bone Fossilization – #UREES270 – 2018

Instructor Assigned Paper 1 – Jan 19

Keenan and Engel, 2017, Early diagenesis and recrystallization of bone: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 196, p. 209-223.

What’s it about?

In order to have the science of vertebrate paleontology, we have to have the fossilization of bones. The authors use experimental methods to examine what happens early in the process of fossilization and understand the role of bacteria in the preservation of bone.

Why does it matter?

The early process of fossilization, especially the rearrangement of atoms in the mineral matrix, can have a tremendous effect on any interpretations using geochemical data from the fossils. It is essential to know what changes occur so we can understand the meaning of geochemical results from fossils.

Why did I read this?

I am a geochemist that works with fossil bones and teeth. This paper has direct application to my research.

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