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Taphonomy is the study of how died organisms can fossilize. Before a carcass becomes a fossil, scavengers, rot, sedimentation and diagenesis play a role. Due to research on recent carcasses, original depositional environments and the processes can be reconstructed.
Within taphonomy as a science, several subdomains are recognized:
- Necrology: studies everything related to the death of an organism
- Biostratinomy: studies the processes taking place between death and definitive burial, including decomposition, bioerosion, etc.
- Diagenesis: studies the processes taking place after the definitive burial.
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