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Permineralization is a rare type of fossilization in which the shape of the soft tissue of an organism can be preserved. Minerals are deposited in the cell walls of cells of the organism by precipitation of minerals from groundwater or surface water. Permineralization can take place by the deposition of silica (quartz), carbonate (limestone) or by pyrite.
Since the original cell walls are saved, it is possible to study the three-dimensional structure and the cell structure of the organism in these rare fossils. This often gives many new insights into the organism and the environment in which they lived.
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