I would like to know in deep how exactly is the wood fossilisation process. I am fascinated how after millions of years the fossil wood preserves its microscopic characteristics. Look at this cross section where you can see clearly differences in the cellular tissues as parenchyma, vessels, and rays.

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I know that in the fossilisation process the wood was replaced by mineral particles, but I don't understand how the organic material went outside to stay only the minerals.


1 Answer 1


there are actually more than one process, but in the case of high detail wood fossils the process is the slow filling in of all the spaces in the wood (filled with water in life) with dissolved minerals from the groundwater. this is called permineralization. Of course this only works is the wood is buried so it cannot rot while this is happening. Since permineralization happens on the molecular level is can preserve great detail as the minerals form around the remaining hard tissue.

This video is a decent representation,


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