Fossilization in Peat Bogs
Last edit: 12:22, 3 February 2011
When an animal or plant dies and ends up in a peat bog they are usually remarkably well preserved. Fossils have been found with preserved skin, organs, and hair. “Preservation of internal organs may depend on the prevailing temperatures at the time the body was placed in the bog. Under warm conditions, bacteria present in the gut at the time of death, can cause severe degradation of the internal organs (Menon, 1997)” (Eslick). “Bones may or may not be preserved depending on the pH of the bog water (Glob, 1965)” (Eslick). Some 2,000 year old human fossils were even found wearing clothing. Conditions in these peat bogs are highly acidic anoxic waters. The high concentrations of tannic and fulvic acids in the water control bacterial growth along with the low oxygen content to prevent decomposition.
References Cited Eslick, Jack. "BOGS: A WEB PRESENTATION." www.emporia.edu. Emporia State University, 2001. Web. 31 Jan 2011. <http://www.emporia.edu/earthsci/student/eslick2/bog_report.html>.
Due to the chemical composition of the Peat bogs, things end up preserving remarkably well, as Nick stated. In this photo of a Peat Bog mummy, you can see the red hair wonderfully preserved.
Peat Bog Mummies." Web. 1 Feb 2011.