Skip to main content

Early bioerosion in skeletal tissues: persistence through deep time

Buy Article:

$39.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Microbial bioerosion is an important factor in the long-terms survival of vertebrate skeletal remains and in the quality of any preserved biological information contained within them – e.g. genetic, isotopic or trace element evidence. Over the past two decades there has been a dramatic improvement in our understanding of the diagenetic changes experienced by ancient bones and the impact of those changes on preserved information, although the identity of the organisms responsible for microbial degradation remains something of a mystery. Because of the long timescales involved, the damages seen in bones excavated from archaeological and fossil sites have proved difficult to replicate in the laboratory. Field experiments in a tropical location (Taiwan) have successfully replicated the early stages of many of the features seen in genuinely ancient bones and these changes can be linked to specific burial environments. These key diagenetic signatures are shown to persist in fossil bones over millions of years and can be identified in electron microscope images of histological sections. Thus, investigation the histology of fossil bones using backscatter electron microscopy (BSEM) is a useful addition to other techniques, e.g. rare earth element analyses, in understanding the diagenetic histories of fossil assemblages.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-08-01

More about this publication?
  • Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie continuously publishes current original contributions from all fields of geology, ever since its foundation in 1807. All published contributions are in the English language.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more