Biofilms and Fossilization
Reference work entry
Carbonaceous bacterial biofilms; Hautschatten
Microbial biofilms cover normally in aquatic environments dead organisms and control partly the process of decay. The soft tissues of the body outline are preserved as a layered structure which comprises a carbonaceous microbial biofilm, in the literature often called “Hautschatten” (Figure 1). Fossils with soft part preservation are extremely rare, but under certain circumstances, like suboxic or anaerobic conditions, remains of their soft tissues with detailed histological fabrics are found. The evidence of non-biomineralized soft tissue normally degrading completely during decay is linked with special microbial processes. This exceptional preservation requires soft tissues to be replicated by authigenic minerals or pseudomorphed by bacterial biofilms (e.g., Wuttke, 1983; Toporski et al., 2002; Briggs, 2003). The different organs in many cases often exhibit different microbially controlled lithified biofilms with an...
KeywordsBlack Shale Organic Geochemistry Pyrite Framboids Dead Organism Body Outline
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