The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Why are bones left in the grave after all the body disappears?  (Read 2323 times)

@JeronimoGuarco

  • Guest
@JeronimoGuarco asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Why are bones left in the grave after all the body disappears?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 04/04/2011 22:30:03 by _system »


 

Offline yor_on

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 11987
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
I moved your question, as I suspect the expertise on that may be looking here before, or rather if, they ever look in 'Environment' Jeronimo.
 

Offline yor_on

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 11987
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
As far as I found bones do decompose though? It may take different time depending on where, I saw someone state eight years in a really warm climate as Mexico to maybe eighty years in Canada. But then we have fossilized bones too.

"The organic parts of the bone, like blood cells, collagen (a protein), and fat, eventually break down. But the inorganic parts of the bone, or the parts made from minerals like calcium, have more staying power. They remain after the organic materials have disappeared, creating a fragile, porous mineral in the shape of the original bone." I think it has to do with something similar to osmosis, if we are talking about bones outside a chest. Then the minerals inside the bones slowly will seep out and be replaced with whatever minerals there is around it.

"While this is going on, the minerals in the bones, calciums and hydroxyapatite, get replaced, one by one, with the minerals in the sand. Due to the great pressure over top, the lower levels of sediment get pressed together to form sedimentary rock, with the bones still in it. Eventually, millions of years pass by, and there is no organic material left in the bones, they are now solid rock, and are buried deep below the surface, incased in sedimentary rocks. One day, someone is digging deep into a quarry, and notices these bones, now fossils."

There are other ways too it seems. Maybe we should move it to Chemistry instead?
Da*n, another tricky question :) Fossilization.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum


 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums