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Re: Burnt fossil bones

Very interesting abstract!  Thanks.  Marilyn's paper also serves a dual
use as a reference on the subject of impact-caused wildfires, so I will
also include it in my Extinction_References bibliography 

In the interest of citation completeness, where was this meeting held? 
And is there a page number?


On Mon, 03 Jul 2006 17:28:09 -0600 tjshaw@ualberta.ca writes:
> This is an abstract from a poster presented at the Dinosaur Park 
> Symposium (September 2005). Hope it helps.
>           -Tyler
> Paleowildfire characteristics and behavior: diagenetic changes 
> occurring in vascular bone during cremation by wildfire reveal 
> ancient 
> fire behavior.
>                             Marilyn D. Wegweiser
>       Paleowildfire behavior can be ascertained by examining 
> changes that 
> occur in vascular bone during cremation. Vascular bone of ancient 
> animals that were alive or recently dead during cremation exhibits 
> color and mineralogical changes consistent with those changes that 
> occur in modern vascular bone. Burned bone becomes inert, remaining 
> unchanged during fossilization processes, and thus provides a record 
> of 
> ancient wildfire behavior. Morphological changes in bone indicate 
> the 
> potential range of fire behavior, from a ground or brush fire to a 
> crowning fire. In some instances, extreme fire behavior can be 
> implied 
> from the morphopmetric changes induced in bone. Because the 
> paleolatitude of Wyoming¡¯s Big Horn Basin in the Late Cretaceous 
> (70-66.5 Ma) was close to present day latitude , it is reasonable to 
> suspect this region was equally vulnerable to ancient Pacific Ocean 
> and 
> Interior Seaway currents influencing the climate resulting in 
> seasonal 
> wildfires. Fossil evidence of paleowildfires from northwestern 
> Wyoming 
> led me to compare modern cremated vascular bone with dinosaur bone 
> found associated with fossilized charcoal  and bu8rned wood bearing 
> fire scars. Late Cretaceous dinosaur bone from the Meeteetse 
> Formation 
> of Wyoming exhibits morphological changes that are similar to those 
> found in modern vascular bone that had undergone changes during 
> cremation. The nature of the changes, including crescentic 
> fractures, 
> reorganization of osteocytes, and glassification of CaPO4, suggests 
> a 
> ground fire of long duration with sustained temperatures in the 
> range 
> of 650¢ªC to 800¢ªC, or a crowning fire with temperatures in excess 
> of 
> 1200¢ªC. Identification of sedimentary layers containing 
> paleowildfires 
> provides a powerful tool for better understanding cyclicity of 
> wildfire 
> in association with other regional climatic signals or patterns, 
> provides clues to the ecology of ancient trophic environments, and 
> provides a possible chronostratigraphic tool for regional 
> correlation.
> Quoting Phillip Bigelow <bigelowp@juno.com>:
> >
> > Or maybe: "Bones that appear to have been burnt before 
> fossilization".
> >
> > Does anyone have any refs. on this?  Especially any refs on the
> > petrography of the fossil bone.
> >
> > During this afternoon's chicken BBQ, I got into a discussion 
> (actually a
> > polite argument) with a professional forester on the subject of 
> how one
> > would determine if fossilized dinosaur bones show a "fingerprint" 
> of
> > having been burned by fire prior to burial.
> >
> > I figured that taphonomy gurus Behrensmeyer or Shipman would have 
> had
> > something to say on this subject, but so far, I'm pullin' up 
> nuthin'.
> >
> > And has anyone made a chicken marinade of vodka, black peppercorns
> > garlic, and maraschino cherry juice?  If not, then I hereby dub 
> the
> > marinade "Phil's Chicken Soused".
> >
> > <pb>
> > --
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >

Personal science advisor on enviromental issues to Sen. James Inhofe