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Do bones decompose? How long does it take for bones to decompose?

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Channel: Science ABC
Categories: Archeology / Paleontology   |   Science  
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Ever wonder why bones can survive hundreds of years without decomposing? This is due to the unique composition of bone. Bone is primarily composed of a very stable protein called collagen and the mineral calcium. The association between collagen and calcium makes bone very sturdy. Many microbes and insects that feed on dead matter find it difficult to digest bone. But, over many months and even years, bones eventually decompose. But, certain environmental conditions preserve bones. Dry, arid conditions as well as acidic soil are great preservers of organic matter.
The dinosaur bones that survive millions of years, arent really bones anymore. They are stones - fossils! Overtime, all the organic matter got decomposed and minerals from the water and soil around the bone deposited on the bone creating a stone replica of the bone that once was!



#science #funfacts #bonedecay


References:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3152283/
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1475-4754.1997.tb00817.x
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2738563/
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0305440386900129


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