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March 2010 – Fossilized Dinosaur Bone

This month’s featured mineral is fossilized dinosaur bone. For the new agate book, Tom Shearer borrowed samples of fossilized bone from Mark Anderson (www.differentseasonsjewelry.com). The specimens pictured below come from Utah. Although they certainly have agate pockets, technically the fossilization process is different than the agatization process. Therefore, these specimens are classified as fossilized dinosaur bones that have agate pockets.

You might wonder how these bones become fossilized in the first place. The process happened as follows:

  1. After their death, dinosaurs became buried in mud or sand.
  2. The softer tissues decayed and rotted. However, the harder parts like bones and teeth did not rot and became encased in the sediment.
  3. In time mineral-rich water seeped into the bone. The process of fossilization occurred in two different ways. Either the original organic material was replaced with other minerals (permineralization), or tiny spaces in the bone filled in with minerals (recrystallization). In the case of the fossil photographs included below, agate filled in some of the spaces.
  4. This process causes the bone to turn into a fossil. The fossil has the same shape as the original bone, but chemically has been converted to rock!
Dino Bone
Dino Bone Close Up


Mineral of the Month Archives

May 2007: Rainbow Fluorite

June 2007: Lake Superior Michipicoten Agate

July 2007: Labadorite

August 2007: Rain Flower Agate

Fall 2007: Malachite

December 2007: Nepheline Syenite

January 2008: Native Copper

February 2008: Amazonite

March 2008: Lake Superior Agate

April 2008: Shadow Agate

May 2008: Apohpylite

June 2008: Ocean Jasper

Summer 2008: Marra Mamba Tiger's Eye

September 2008: Mohawkite

October 2008: Mexican opal

November 2008: Prehnite

December 2008: Picture Jasper

January 2009: Sea Shell Jasper

February 2009: Polychrome Jasper

March 2009: Selenite Desert Rose

Spring 2009: Coyamito Agate

July 2009: Obsidian Needles

August 2009: Goethite

September 2009: Banded Iron Formation

Fall 2009: Fairburn Agate

March 2010: Fossilized Dinosaur Bone

April/May: 2010 Kentucky Agate

June 2010: Nantan Meteorite

July 2010: Mookaite Jasper

Aug/Sept 2010: Polyhedroid Agate

Fall 2010: Ammonite Fossil

September 2011: Petoskey Stones

Spring 2011: Petrfied Wood

Winter 2011: Argentina Condor Agate

January 2012: Mary Ellen Jasper

March 2012: Mexican Crazy Lace Agate

June 2012: Moqui Marbles

September 2012: Chlorastrolite Greenstone

March 2013: Jacobsville Sandstone

August 2013: Unakite

November 2013: Skip-an-Atom Agate

April 2014: Tiger's Eye

September 2014: Black Corundum

February 2015: Condor Agate

June 2015: Petoskey Stone

November 2015: Slag

June 2016: Lake Superior Copper Replacement Agates

March 2017: Chert

July 2017: Kona Dolomite

December 2017: Septarian Nodule

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Gitche Gumee Museum.
E21739 Brazel Street
Grand Marais, Michigan 49839


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