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: A Practical Approach to the Study of Bonebeds

: A Practical Approach to the Study of Bonebeds

(p.265) Chapter 5: A Practical Approach to the Study of Bonebeds
David A. EberthRaymond R. RogersAnthony R. Fiorillo
University of Chicago Press

Every bonebed preserved in the stratigraphic record reflects the interplay of complex physical, chemical, and biological phenomena. Rocks provide the overall context for bonebeds preserved in the stratigraphic record, and a thorough understanding of sedimentology and stratigraphy is needed before the formative history of a bonebed can be accurately reconstructed. Given the myriad events and interactions that follow death, deciphering the formative pathway(s) that led to skeletal accumulation is no easy task. Clearly, the best hope for a successful study hinges upon the careful collection of data, and fortunately the methods of data collection and analysis in relation to bonebeds have evolved and improved over time. This chapter examines bonebeds from a practical standpoint and addresses four main concerns that pertain to effective site management and data collection: preliminary site assessment, considerations that arise when the real work begins, collection of geological data, and the types of taphonomic information that should be retrieved from a bonebed assemblage. It concludes by focusing on the reconstruction of the taphonomic history of a bonebed assemblage.

Keywords:   bonebeds, reconstruction, taphonomic history, bonebed assemblage, stratigraphic record, sedimentology, stratigraphy, skeletal accumulation, site management, data collection

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