Trueman, C.N., Benton, M.J. and Palmer, M.R.
Geochemical taphonomy of shallow marine vertebrate assemblages
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 197, (3-4), . (doi:10.1016/S0031-0182(03)00457-7).
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Combined histological and geochemical analyses demonstrate complex processes leading to preservation of microbially altered bone. In certain situations, a chemical microenvironment distinct from surrounding pore waters is developed and maintained within the bone. The bone acts as a closed system, and hence palaeoenvironmental interpretations based on fossil bone apatite chemistry may not accurately reflect overall geochemical conditions of the sedimentary deposits where the bones were buried. Geochemical techniques based on variance in trace element compositions of bones from different assemblages can be used as a measure of the relative degree of mixing or taphonomic averaging within marine vertebrate assemblages
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