Contents Compressions



Casts & Molds


Molecular fossils



Drying & Dessication

Wax & Asphalt

Coprolites &Gastroliths

Trace fossils


Window to the past


What are compressions ?

A compression is a two dimensional remain, that has been compressed from a three dimensional organism. Compressions are the organic remains from the distortion of the original morphology. Compression mainly occurs in plants, retaining coalified organic matter. Carbonization and distillation are two types of compressions in which carbon residue retains many of the features of the original organism. In carbonization, the metaseqfossildecompostion of organic matter under anaerobic water or sediment, the hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen are driven off, leaving the carbon residue. In the rare process of distillation, only the more volatile elements, such as liquids and gases are distilled. This leaves a thin film layer of carbon on a rock as evidence of the original organism. The uniqueness of distillation is that both hard and soft parts can be preserved.

What do compressions tell us ?

Compressions provide important information concerning the external morpholog especially the planar structure of organisms (such as the leaves of plants). In plants the cuticle is often preserved, providing cellular information of the plant. Most compressions are found around coal seams, such as the Jurassic flores of Robin Hood's Bay in Yorkshire. Carbonization fossils have revealed evidence of the vast swamps containing luxuriant forests in particular areas, such as today's China, India, Australia, Africa, North America and parts of Europe. These remains constitute the base of today's vast coal deposits.


Amber || Casts & Molds || Compactions || Compressions || Coprolites & Gastroliths

Drying & Dessication || Freezing || Impressions || Molecular Fossils || Permineralization

Reference || Trace Fossils || Wax & Asphalt

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