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Re: Re: fossilization

>>Another group of sources, albeit a technical source, is the literature on
>>taphonomy, the science of burial and fossilization.  The main thrust of
>>taphonomic research shows that, unless the corpse or bone is buried VERY
>>quickly, you will not have anthing to fossilize.  In some cases, it is even
>>faster than the 1-2 years mentioned above.
>Any idea of how slow is too slow?  I have worked at a few quarries where the=
> individual in question is fairly complete, but has really fallen apart;=
> also, they are large animals.  This is not something that will be buried=
> quickly, unless there is a storm like you wouldn't believe (of which, there=
> is no evidence to support).  It seems to me that a stream won't cover the=
> critter that fast, perhaps taking longer than the 2 year max.

Unfortunately, there are a WHOLE lot of variables here, such as scavengers,
weather, decay processes, etc.  Articulated specimens were probably buried
within hours to days of death, nonarticulated specimens could be much, much

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist
Dept. of Geology
University of Maryland
College Park, MD  20742
Email:Thomas_R_HOLTZ@umail.umd.edu (th81)
Fax: 301-314-9661