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- what happens between death and discovery
- - biostratonomy
- - diagenesis
sedimentary processes interact with remaining parts; surficial processes: scavenging, breakage, transport, etc; after death and before fossilization
chemical alteration and lithification (process in which sediments compact under pressure); post burial processes: deformation, compaction, erosion, etc; after fossilization and before collection
hard parts and rapid burial/seclusion from environment
Organisms with __ dominate the fossil record, while organisms with __ have a poor chance of being fossilized.
mineralized skeletons/hard parts; soft parts
Rapid burial/seclusion from environment is crucial to fossilization because
they are subjected to fewer destructive taphonomic processes, such as physical damage, scavenging, and microbial decay
modes of preservation
- Relatively unaltered soft body tissues are very rare.
- Relatively altered soft body tisssues are rare.
- Relatively unaltered hard parts are more common.
- Relatively altered hard parts are the most common.
Unaltered soft tissue can occur due to
freezing, amber (insects), mummification, and sealing off the organisms from the microbial world by taking away water
Altered soft body parts requires (at least one of the following):
obtrusion (rapid burial), stagnation (anoxia: no oxygen), and rapid mineralization (carbonization, pyritization)
La brea tar pits, shark teeth, and oyster beds are examples of
unaltered hard parts
Altered hard parts occur due to
recrystalization, replacement, permineralization
represents piece of the actual organism, either the remains or the molted skeleton
evidence of animal behavior but do not represent the animals death. ex. burrows
- fossil bonanza: concentration deposits
- 1. high diversity with decent preservation (not articulated). e.g. bone beds, dinosaur national monument, la brea tar pits
- 2. exquisite preservation. e.g. burgess shale, holzmaden shale