Understanding the complex interplay of physical and chemical processes leading to fossilization is crucial to elucidating the 3800 million years of life on earth. And yet, the process of fossilization also leads to the loss of pivotal biological information, placing constraints on the very same understanding of ancient life it preserves. Over the last decade, however, remarkable advances in approaches, techniques, tools, and instrumentation have helped scientists to transcend these constraints by enabling high-resolution analysis of fossil material – even down to the nanoscale.
Fossilization provides a critical look at these cutting-edge innovations in the science of fossil preservation and provides a road map for future research. Drawing from the fields of palaeontology, organic and inorganic chemistry, microbiology, and high-resolution imaging and analysis, and spanning the diversity of life from plants to vertebrates and invertebrates, this resource details expert findings on
- fossilization of hard and soft part tissues in dinosaurs
- high-resolution chemical analysis of organic and inorganic tissues
- arthropods preserved in amber
- experimental silicification of wood
- chemical defenses and color in fossil plants
- confocal Raman spectroscopy
- microprobe analysis
- radioisotopic studies
- and much more
A true interdisciplinary undertaking, this book is authored by palaeontologists, mineralogists, geochemists, organic chemists, microbiologists, and materials scientists who have worked together to investigate questions around substance fossilization and the limits of the fossil record. A special colour section contains SEM, Raman, and other striking images of vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. Fossilization is a trailblazing reference book for research scientists and specialists in related fields, as well as for advanced undergraduates and graduate students interested in fossilization, emerging research techniques, and fresh approaches in the analysis of plant and animal fossils.
Preface / Carole T. Gee
1. Introduction to the Limits of the Fossil Record / P. Martin Sander and Carole T. Gee
2. Organic Phase Preservation in Fossil Dinosaur and Other Tetrapod Bone from Deep Time: Extending the Probable Osteocyte Record to the Early Permian / Kayleigh Wiersma, Sashima Läbe, and P. Martin Sander
3. Fossilization of Reproduction-Related Hard and Soft Tissues and Structures in Non-Avian Dinosaurs and Birds / Tzu-Ruei Yang and Aurore Canoville
4. Raman Spectroscopy in Fossilization Research: Basic Principles, Applications in Paleontology, and a Case Study on an Acanthodian Fish Spine / Thorsten Geisler and Martina Menneken
5. Ultrastructure to Biomolecular Composition: Taphonomic Patterns of Tissue Preservation in Arthropod Inclusions in Amber / H. Jonas Barthel, Victoria E. McCoy, and Jes Rust
6. Experimental Silicification of Wood in the Lab and Field: Pivotal Studies and Open Questions / Carole T. Gee and Moritz Liesegang
7. The Structure and Chemistry of Silica in Mineralized Wood: Techniques and Analysis / Moritz Liesegang, Frank Tomaschek, and Jens Götze
8. Exceptional Fossilization of Ecological Interactions: Plant Defenses during the Four Major Expansions of Arthropod Herbivory in the Fossil Record / Victoria E. McCoy, Torsten Wappler, and Conrad C. Labandeira
9. Color in Living and Fossil Plants: The Search for Biological Pigments in the Paleobotanical Record / Carole T. Gee and Victoria E. McCoy
10. The Future of Fossilization / Victoria E. McCoy
Carole T. Gee is an associate professor of palaeontology at the University of Bonn. She is the editor of Plants in Mesozoic Time: Morphological Innovations, Phylogeny, Ecosystems. Victoria E. McCoy is a visiting assistant professor of palaeontology at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. P. Martin Sander is a professor of vertebrate palaeontology at the University of Bonn. He is the coeditor of The Microstructure of Reptilian Tooth Enamel: Terminology, Function, and Phylogeny and, with Gee, Biology of the Sauropod Dinosaurs: Understanding the Life of Giants.
"This well-written and well-edited volume, which is full of beautiful illustrations, describes exciting areas of fossilization while providing a guide for anyone wanting to apply some of the new techniques or look at emerging areas. Incorporating cutting-edge and revised techniques, this book will interest paleontologists, paleobotanists, and students, as well as general readers."
– David Winship Taylor, Indiana University Southeast, coeditor of Flowering Plant Origin, Early Evolution & Phylogeny
"An exciting, novel contribution to the paleontological literature written by experts who have done groundbreaking research. There really is no comparable work."
– Hans-Dieter Sues, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, author of The Rise of Reptiles
"Showcasing knowledge acquired and techniques developed in the past few decades that have given us greater understanding of the processes and mechanics of fossilization, this book is full of cutting-edge, highly original research. A useful and attractive text for paleontologists, mineralogists, biochemists, and paleomicrobiologists, Fossilization will be a standard reference for years to come."
– Christopher A. Shaw, Idaho Museum of Natural History / ArcheoPaleo Resource Management, Inc., coeditor of Smilodon: The Iconic Sabertooth