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In a message dated 96-02-09 08:53:15 EST, you write:
>7. Acids in the soil can dissolve the bone. This process is particularly
>common in forest soils in humid regions. Coniferous forest soils are
>among the best at producing acid conditions in the modern spectrum.
>8. Organic degradation begins to destroy the organic matrix (mainly
>collagen) upon which the mineral crystals are supported.
Thanks Bonnie for that info. It does clear up alot! It seems that most of the
processes you describe were/are at work. Of particular interest are the
above. Since the Arundel Clay is a fine grained sediment and this particular
site seems to be either a point bar or cut off meander, (oxbow lake) there
were strong reducing conditions that helped destroy the bones. Also this unit
is literally chock full of coniferous wood (lignitized) and the general
interpretation by Gil Brenner and others, is that the paleoclimate was warm,
wet, tropical coniferous like that of modern day New Zealand. It seems then
that the main process is a chemical one not a physical one since I
origginally assumed that since most teeth would probably have a lower
settling velocity, they are carried further downstream before being buried.
Thomas R. Lipka