Rocky Mountain Section - 64th Annual Meeting (911 May 2012)
Paper No. 29-6
Presentation Time: 9:45 AM-10:00 AM


PATTERSON, Patrick E., 5212 N. Indianola Ave, Clovis, CA 93619,

Following several years of intense study of the Upper Triassic, Chinle Formation, Petrified Forest area, Black Forest level "Permineralized Woods", it has been found that a previously unrecognized method of fossil animal preservation has been from in the Arizona Chinle Formation.

It has been determined that the above woods were "permineralized" and fossilized in a two step process, as determined by lab analysis conducted by Dr. Bill Schopf, UCLA. The first perservation process "permineralized" the contents of the woods, and a secondary process of preservation involved the process of quartz (SiO2) infill of gaps or openings left from the primary preservation process.

This process of preservation, previously undocumented in any scientific research, resulted in the permineralization of all material included inside the wood structure, including animals. These inclusive animals were preserved via cellular mineral replacement, in the same manner that occurs in the wooden structure, cells, and fibers.

For the most part, the interior cellular structures of the wood logs had been apparently consumed by animals and thereby provided a viable habitat for the animals. Also, there is evidence some of the wood specimens were in a marine environment, as evidenced by the preservation of marine life inside the "hollowed" logs. These animals appear to be related to Crinoids, brachiopods, salamanders, turtles, and etc.

The presence of these "preserved animal fossils" was discovered once the wood specimens were cut for display purposes. During the cutting and polishing processes animals, previously hidden within logs, were now visible to the human eye. And, more importantly these animals, some of which were dissected by the cutter's sawblade, now had their internal morphology exposed for viewing on a plane corresponding the cut. In other words, the soft body tissues and internal organs were premineralized in the same fashion as the woods.

One large log shows evidence of the imprint of a very large "V"-shaped jawbone with teeth similar only to the "Dittodus priscus (Eastman)", which was reported to belong to a ancient extinct Shark. This same log shows evidence of "claw" marks that were apparently trying to reach a "bud/blossom/cone/???".

Rocky Mountain Section - 64th Annual Meeting (911 May 2012)
General Information for this Meeting


Session No. 29
Hotel Albuquerque: Alvarado A&B
8:30 AM-12:00 PM, Friday, 11 May 2012

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 44, No. 6, p. 85

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