Do fossils contain any of the original organic material?

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by John J. Bannan, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. John J. Bannan Registered Senior Member

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    The explanation of fossilization usually goes along these lines, minerals replaced the bone and became rock. But, the amazing detail of some fossils seems to indicate some of the original organic material has been preserved. Is this true?
     
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  3. darksidZz Valued Senior Member

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    All organic material decays, hence I don't believe you can find it left over in fossils. The only method is to find an animal stuck in sap or something.
     
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  5. John J. Bannan Registered Senior Member

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    What about the blood they apparently found inside fossilized dino bones?
     
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  7. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

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    Didn't they find bone marrow of Wolly Mamoths?
    Perhaps it is a distinction between "fossil" and "preserved specimen"?
     
  8. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    I've not heard of that, nor do I think it's even possible. Do you have a link that discusses it?
     
  9. John J. Bannan Registered Senior Member

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  10. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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  11. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    It has been thought that all organic material is replaced, but evidently not.
     
  12. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    they have found bits and pieces of dinosaur dna
     
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    They have found proteins and such in fossils of one-celled beings - "protists" - from many millions of years ago, fairly routinely.

    Sorry I don't have a link, my latest reminder of that was from a side comment in the science section of the the NYT (Tuesdays), in an article about the collagen and other proteins found in some fossils of Tyrannosaurus bones. The guy was pointing out that there was every reason to be hopeful in investigating the fossils of larger animals, and he was surprised the matter hadn't come up before.
     
  14. Pez11 Just visiting Registered Senior Member

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    Nearly intact Mammoth remains have been found frozen in the arctic permafrost.
    Mammoths completely died out only around 10,000 years ago, so the chances of them being preserved is much greater.
    I think I may have some things in my freezer that are almost that old.
     
  15. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Hmm...mammoth DNA. I wonder how long it will be before an elephant gives birth to one. There's gonna be some lab out there somewhere that tries it.

    I don't know how I feel about that. If man wiped them out, try bringing them back. If they died due to natural selection, so sad too bad.
     
  16. John J. Bannan Registered Senior Member

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    Would you hesitate to return a species from near extinction, say if there were only a couple left? Then why would you not want to return an extinct species? Well, with dinosaurs you probably have a point considering their ferocity. But, wooly mamouths aren't going to harm us.
     
  17. kenworth dude...**** it,lets go bowling Registered Senior Member

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  18. John99 Banned Banned

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    We don't make history, we change history.:shrug:
     
  19. tablariddim forexU2 Valued Senior Member

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    I can certainly see a time when scientists do manage to resurrect extinct species, if only for study purposes. However, there are not enough forests left in the right places to sustain woolly mammoths, so I can't envisage herds of them in the wild and also, how do you know they are safe?
     
  20. John J. Bannan Registered Senior Member

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    I'm assuming wooly mammoths are like elephants, which are relatively safe.
     
  21. Pez11 Just visiting Registered Senior Member

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    From what I understand, complex organic molecules such as DNA are not very stable once the living organism dies.
    Sure we can find segments, but their would not be enough information to successfully 'clone'.
     
  22. valich Registered Senior Member

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  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I've seen bits and pieces in the popular press indicating that this idea is under consideration.
    It's one thing to bring back a virus that will be difficult to control. I don't see anything wrong with setting up a mammoth preserve in an underpopulated place in Siberia. It would boost the local economy with tourism.

    As for whose fault it is... We may never be able to bring back the moa, dodo or Tasmanian wolf. So maybe we'll get some cosmic brownie points for bringing back one that wasn't our fault.

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