Solve the mystery of ancient skeletons destroyed by the heat

An international team of scientists from Ireland, the UK and the US has found out why the bones of ancient four-legged amphibians that lived more than 300 million years ago were subjected to heat treatment.

And the journal Paleontology points out that the strange fossils were first discovered in a coal seam in Kilkenny County, where the Jarrow fossil complex is located, which previous research has shown contained fossils of some of the ancient amphibians that inhabited the earth, but the bones of many of them have changed dramatically. what became fossils is difficult to study in detail. Experts hypothesized that this change is due to the acid decomposition of skeletons at the stage of animal burial.

In this new study, the scientists used a combination of CT scans to take x-ray images of the fossils and laser ablation to chemically analyze the bones. It turned out that the internal shape of the bones had changed, and the charcoal surrounding them replaced some of the bone material. The researchers also found apatite crystals in the fossils, the chemical composition of which indicates that they were formed under the influence of the heat of geofluids – liquid and gaseous components of the Earth’s interior, including magma and hot solutions.

The results of determining the age of apatite crystals showed that they were formed during the collision of continents with the formation of the Pangea supercontinent 335 million years ago. This was accompanied by the release of mountain ranges and liquids to the surface, which caused the dissolution of the remains of buried animals.

Source: Linta. EN