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Fossilization HTML5


This animation shows the fossilization by permineralization of a living organism (the example used is a trilobite). The time scale is consistent with the dimensions of the principle stages in the transformation of a fossil to rock.

  • Decomposition of organic (soft) parts
  • Burial of the carapace (exoskeleton) by sediments
  • Permineralization of the exoskeleton
  • Geological processes
  • Erosion bringing the buried fossil to the surface

Learning goals

  • To illustrate the basic processes involved in the fossilization process.
  • To become aware of the vastness of the Geological Time Scale.

Learn more

The first fossils were discovered in China 2000 years ago. Depending on the nature of the organisms in question,  there are several processes of fossilization that allow, or do not allow,  the…

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