Cellular Fossils Resulted from Pseudomorph
|Wretch Fossil (OP)|
User ID: 11263676
02/22/2012 08:45 AM
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When organisms died, their cells were sometimes fossilized in a process called pseudomorph replacement (ref. 1). In the process, fluids went into the cells and crystalized into atypical-formed minerals. Namely, the appearance and dimensions of the biological cells remain constant, but the original biological content was replaced by minerals (ref. 1,2,3). The growth of the minerals within the cells was limited by the forms of the cellular membranes. So, cellular fossils contain minerals of atypical forms, which did not conform to the crystal system of the minerals. The same process sometimes also happened on the molecular level and tissue level.
Ref. 1: [link to en.wikipedia.org]
Ref. 2: [link to en.wikipedia.org]
Ref. 3: [link to en.wikipedia.org]
Quotes from Ref. 1: “In mineralogy, a pseudomorph is a mineral or mineral compound that appears in an atypical form (crystal system), resulting from a substitution process in which the appearance and dimensions remain constant, but the original mineral is replaced by another.”
Qutoes from Ref. 2: “Pseudomorphs are also common in paleontology. Fossils are often formed by pseudomorphic replacement of the remains by mineral matter. Examples include petrified wood and pyritized gastropod shells.”
Quotes from Ref. 3: "Replacement occurs when the shell, bone or other tissue is replaced with another mineral. In some cases mineral replacement of the original shell occurs so gradually and at such fine scales that microstructural features are preserved despite the total loss of original material. A shell is said to be recrystallized when the original skeletal compounds are still present but in a different crystal form, as from aragonite to calcite."