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Fossils May Last Longer in Colder Climates

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posted on Feb, 11 2016 @ 07:06 PM
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This isn't totally shocking, but it's one of those things that at least I didn't really consider before reading. Apparently, Fossils may degrade at a slower rate in colder climates, making it difficult for researchers to be able to determine possible population within some species.




Considerably more of the fossil record of creatures such as mammoths, mastodons, camels, horses and ground sloths has been lost in what is now the continental United States and South America than in Alaska and areas near the Bering Strait. That variation complicates efforts to reconstruct the population sizes of those species across North and South America, conclude Professor Todd Surovell and graduate student Spencer Pelton in the UW Department of Anthropology.

“While bone preservation in Arctic regions is aided by cold temperatures and the presence of permafrost, considerably more bone has been lost over time in regions farther south -- in fact, at a faster rate than the sediments in which they were deposited have eroded,” Surovell says. “That means researchers must adjust for those differences as they estimate the numbers of these animals, many of which are now extinct, across the Americas.”

source

It's important to consider that this rate at which fossils can degrade may not apply to fossils before or after the Pleistocene epoch. The reason for this is likely climate (although I can't confirm that point). The degrading rate has no effect on our dating methods.

If you want to learn more, here's the link to the scientific article




posted on Feb, 11 2016 @ 07:14 PM
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Molecules move slower at a colder temperature, thus slowing the decay process...I just don't see how this isn't common sense by now. And maybe bacteria which cause decay freeze to death...
...kinda of a boring topic to post on ATS...IMO.

It's cool that they keep finding bones and fossils. Let's apply this "research" at the North and South poles...could find some awesome stuff...im sure.

Regards,
edit on th16Thu, 11 Feb 2016 19:16:51 -0600K201625129pm2 by SirKonstantin because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 11 2016 @ 07:19 PM
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Not surprising to see as it is logic that things decay slower in a freezer like environment a lot like stasis and cryogenics a field I worked in before retirement; I got slammed in a mammoth thread for suggesting this messes with accuracy of finds in frozen areas.



posted on Feb, 11 2016 @ 07:23 PM
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originally posted by: SirKonstantin
Molecules move slower at a colder temperature, thus slowing the decay process...I just don't see how this isn't common sense by now. And maybe bacteria which cause decay freeze to death...


Science doesn't make conclusions based on what people consider "Common sense".

The results are certainly expected, of course, but now that we have evidence of it occurring, and the possible rates at which it can occur at we can more accurately depict populations of species within these areas


originally posted by: SirKonstantin
...kinda of a boring topic to post on ATS...IMO.


You're free to choose not to look into science topics if they bore you.



posted on Feb, 11 2016 @ 08:10 PM
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The title's awfully misleading...but once over that, it's quite interesting.



posted on Feb, 11 2016 @ 09:45 PM
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If this is proven, what implications would it have for the Mysterious Mammoth Carcass that Could Change Human History?



posted on Feb, 11 2016 @ 09:57 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax

None. Slower decay processes involve the organism only, not the radioactive decay of 14c which is how the mammoth was dated. It does go farther towards explaining how some remains have been recovered with fresh food in their bellies while still being below ice/snow.



posted on Feb, 11 2016 @ 10:06 PM
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originally posted by: Byrd
The title's awfully misleading...but once over that, it's quite interesting.


I'm not quite sure how it's misleading? Could you explain?


originally posted by: Astyanax
If this is proven, what implications would it have for the Mysterious Mammoth Carcass that Could Change Human History?


peter vlar is correct. This discovery doesn't change our dating of finds, but rather, just which areas are more capable of maintaining fossils than others. This discovery should help us add a variable when trying to decipher the population of some species, thus making the conclusion more accurate




posted on Feb, 11 2016 @ 10:15 PM
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originally posted by: Ghost147

originally posted by: Byrd
The title's awfully misleading...but once over that, it's quite interesting.


I'm not quite sure how it's misleading? Could you explain?


originally posted by: Astyanax
If this is proven, what implications would it have for the Mysterious Mammoth Carcass that Could Change Human History?


peter vlar is correct. This discovery doesn't change our dating of finds, but rather, just which areas are more capable of maintaining fossils than others. This discovery should help us add a variable when trying to decipher the population of some species, thus making the conclusion more accurate



Very true, the focus was more on humans being somewhere not expected due to it dying by humans... than preservation from frozen conditions... not sure where the thread I commented on went but I suppose it wasn't first to be posted about the find so poof no biggie.



posted on Feb, 11 2016 @ 10:27 PM
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It makes me think about Antarctica, one day going through a 'Great Dethaw' era. Where biological matter may possibly be preserved under ice like a time capsule, and exposed where it's fragility becomes at risk to the elements. (Dethaw)

Then again could plant matter or possibly that of an animal, insect, or some other type of creature like dinosaurs.. survive under such conditions and time?

The thought of land under Antarctica, one day being exposed (warming, ice melt, floods, taking forever to dry out etc), is fascinating to me!

The potential of biological material being preserved under that ice sheet.. could be anything!

I always think of the two frozen poles, and how if the earth had external influences, as a mass with gravity it could "spin" or move out of natural "celestial -position", and have two "new" poles via causation.

Where the Antarctica and North pole reside now in, may not be the same positioning before a possible cause-and-effect moved such (entry of moon,comet?).

The fact something wiped out large percentage of creatures and biological life (meteor, dinosaurs expire?), an ice age happened and we are still here today, should speak of the preservation of ice and colder climates of biological matter.

Anyways preserved biology fascinates me, the more we discover, the more we understand the Earth's timeline.

Apologies if I'm off topic



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