Advances in Earth Science
• Articles •
Zhang Xingliang，Shu Degan
Zhang Xingliang，Shu Degan. EXPERIMENTAL TAPHONOMY AND ITS DEVELOPMENT[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 1998, 13(6): 518-525.
Experimental taphonomy is a multidisciplinary research on the processes of fossilization, which is involved in geology, biology, chemistry and physics. It studies the transition of organism remains from the biosphere to the lithosphere, and interactions between organism remains and environmental factors in laboratory. By controlling the environmental factors, the relative preservation potential of different taxa and different tissue types as well as the possible depositional orientations can be assessed, which are critical to the interpretation of fossil materials. At the same time, the study of actions and results of environmental factors in the processes of fossilization provides a new method for the palaeoenvironmental analysis. A series of taphonomic experiments recently made throw a new light on some great puzzles in palaeontology, such as the origination of soft-tissue preservation, the identification of early eukaryotes, the affinities of conodont animal and the nature of Ediacaran biota etc. Therefore, Experimental taphonomy is a new approach of science for palaeontology and palaeoenvironmental analysis.