Talk:UALR Paleobiology ERSC 3360

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Thread titleRepliesLast modified
Carboniferous forrests008:29, 2 May 2011
Amber114:43, 28 April 2011
Lagerstatten014:42, 28 April 2011
Petrification013:58, 3 February 2011
Preservation with Mummification012:15, 3 February 2011
The Big Freeze! (Petrification via Freezing)103:00, 2 February 2011
Permineralization019:48, 30 January 2011
...102:36, 29 January 2011

Carboniferous forrests

Edited by another user.
Last edit: 08:24, 2 May 2011

Carboniferous coal was produced by bark-breaking trees that grew in lowland swamp forests. Types of vegitation in the swamp included; giant club mosses, tree ferns, horsetails and giant trees. Over millions of years, the organic deposits of the plant's debris foarmed coal deposits. This process preserved plant remains very well

This is an example of Carbonization of plant material. This takes place when an organism is buried in layers of sediment.Over time a chemical reaction occurs which turns most of the elements making up the body of the organism to gas. What is left behind is a carbon residue that usually leaves an outline of the organism on the rock formed by the sediment.

Aabettis (talk)13:50, 3 February 2011
Edited by another user.
Last edit: 07:09, 28 January 2011

Preserving a specimen via amber is a really good way to keep a lot of detail. It starts out as a resin that comes from coniferous trees (trees that produce their seeds in cones, i.e. pine trees), very much like a tree sap. As the resin surfaces on the branches or trunk, it hardens. This is a method the trees use for protection from predators such as insects or browsing of larger animals. It can also protect cuts or breaks that happen to the tree, acting as a shield from more outside harm while the tree repairs itself. The resin will engulf the insect (or whatever is destined to become a fossil) completely and then hardens around it, preserving whatever it is exact way it looks. For the resin to harden into the next stage, something called copal. This is harder and more durable than the hardened resin, but it can still be destroyed rather easily. It takes thousands of years (sometimes even millions) for the resin to become amber, and it needs the right set of conditions for it to preserve correctly. It needs a lack of oxygen, so it works best if it’s submerged in sediments under water or something like that. The oxygen will eat away at the resin. The terpenes (a large class of hydrocarbons often found in many coniferous trees) in the resin is what causes the substance to harden into amber, by chemically linking themselves, like they’re being fused together.

“The a classy piece of Baltic Oligocene amber trapping the best preserved spider in existence.”

"Amber." Fossil Preservation . Web. 27 Jan 2011. <>.

SkittyPaw (talk)06:13, 28 January 2011
Edited by another user.
Last edit: 06:07, 11 February 2011

An interesting detailed scenario about how this process occurs is located on this website,, under the heading "How are fossils formed?Amber".

This is an interesting site, with lots of information. however, be warned that it is a commercial fossil dealer's site and not a professional site, so the information presented on it has not been vetted as much as an academic site and may not be as reliable.

Ndwhitten (talk)15:31, 1 February 2011


Edited by 2 users.
Last edit: 14:08, 3 February 2011

For Lagerstatten descriptions, external link(s), and more taphonomic terminology please visit the Taphonomic discussion page located here:

Jdhutchison (talk)07:42, 26 January 2011


Edited by 2 users.
Last edit: 13:58, 3 February 2011

There is a petrified forest located in Arizona. Stone logs and log fragments dot an otherwise barren desert.

Ndwhitten (talk)06:39, 28 January 2011

Preservation with Mummification

Mummiciation is where an organism of some species is preserved by accident or on purpose, with the skin and organs being preserved. Conditions have to be really good for this to happen right, unaltered. Extreme cold temperatures, low humidity, and even in sand dunes with a lot of sand. Leaving very beautiful remains.

“Natural mummification of other animal species also occurs; this is most common in species from shallow saline water environments, especially those with a body structure which is particularly favourable to this process, such as seahorses and starfish.”


"Mummified Seahorse." Web. 1 Feb 2011.

Cagipson (talk)02:56, 2 February 2011

The Big Freeze! (Petrification via Freezing)

Freezing is a form of preservation that occurs when an organism and all it's remains are unchanged throughout time. The most well know frozen fossils that have been found would be of the Wooly Mammoth. These fossils are found in Siberia; with hair, soft tissue, organs, and even undigested vegetation in the stomach. Even though frozen fossils are very hard to find; the mode of preservation is quite remarkable.

("Dima, a preserved baby Woolly Mammoth") Mammoth clone: Science or simply fiction?. Web. 28 Jan 2011.

Marogalla (talk)06:41, 28 January 2011

It makes a lot of sense for these fossils to be in Siberia. It is tooooooo cold, at least for me. But I wonder how much more fossils are there that have not yet been discovered. Very interesting!!

Cagipson (talk)03:00, 2 February 2011


For description and web link, see the taphonomy section from the home page!

Lpsherrod (talk)16:55, 26 January 2011
Edited by author.
Last edit: 02:36, 29 January 2011
Jdhutchison (talk)07:22, 26 January 2011

You may want to check the LQTemail option on the Gadgets tab of your preferences. When enabled you will get email whenever someone posts in a thread you have participated in or on the Talk page of a page in your watchlist.

JimTittsler (talk)09:45, 26 January 2011