[meteorite-list] Why Fossil?

From: Chauncey Walden <clwaldeniii_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sun, 02 Dec 2007 09:48:54 -0700
Message-ID: <4752E1F6.9090104_at_comcast.net>

Dean, since the loose definition of "fossil" is any evidence of former
life, obviously a meteorite, well, most;-), cannot be a fossil. Paleo,
or "old", is the better term, and in the case in discussion represents a
meteorite that has fallen in past times to the extent of having been
incorporated into what became a geologic formation and, in some cases,
weathered out again. Your confusion seems to be between fossilization,
or the preservation of any evidence of former life (like a basically
unaltered mammoth tusk in the Artic), and petrification, or the
replacement or pereservation of material by the introduction of silica,
like petrified wood. The interesting thing, is that in well preserved
petrified wood the cellulose can remain. The silica can be dissolved out
and the cellulose structure captured and studied, even to the extent of
taking biologic stains.
Received on Sun 02 Dec 2007 11:48:54 AM PST

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