1 - third week, Dermestid beetles had removed all the skin...

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1.5 Billion years ago, a diverse flora of Eukaryotes present as asexual species. 1.4 By eukaryotic algae present. First metazoans seen in the Ediacara fauna for Australia (680 MyrBP). Before considering the diversity of fossils we need to think about how representative the fossils are of past life which is largely a function of what gets preserved and where it might get preserved. What gets preserved? Hard parts , and other parts that can be mineralized. Sequence of events from death to scavenging to decay to covering with soil. Example from heard of elephants : "wet" stage = two weeks (too much tissue for vultures so many invertebrates helped out). By the end of the
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Unformatted text preview: third week, Dermestid beetles had removed all the skin and sinew from the bones. Within five weeks the temperature fluctuations caused the bones to crack and flake. Within one year the skeletons were completely disarticulated. Within two years many bones were covered with soil. Current day events can shed light on the fossilization process. Fossilization : percolation of mineral grains (e.g. calcium carbonate) into interstitial spaces of hard part tissue. In bone the mineral is calcium phosphate which can incorporate fluorine, present in minute amounts in water, into the Calcium Phosphate to produce a crystal more resistant to erosion....
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