Meaning of Permineralization

What is Permineralization:

Permineralization is a fossilization process through which the cells of the organisms that are found in the remains of bones, shells, plants or wood and that are deposited in the soil are preserved.

The permineralization process consists of covering the spaces of the pores and cavities of the fossil remains with the minerals found in the water of the soil, lakes and oceans. Among these minerals are sulfates, silicates, phosphates, carbonates, sulfides, and iron oxide.

When this happens, the minerals form a crystallized mold on the porous walls of shells, bones or vegetables, which maintain the shape, for example, of a plant leaf, and retain it over time. This process is called silicification and is part of permineralization.

In a similar way it happens with the bones of the dinosaurs, which, after the permineralization process, can preserve their cellular structure and help to identify which species it belonged to.

If it is a piece of wood, many of its cells dissolve and are replaced by various minerals; however, there are cases in which it is possible to identify what type of tree it belonged to. This process is called petrification. The result is a piece of wood petrified of many colors by the remains of the minerals.

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