This process can occur in very small spaces, such as within the cell wall of a plant cell.
Small scale permineralization can produce very detailed fossils.
The development of radiometric dating techniques in the early 20th century allowed scientists to quantitatively measure the absolute ages of rocks and the fossils they host.
There are many processes that lead to fossilization, including permineralization, casts and molds, authigenic mineralization, replacement and recrystalization, adpression, carbonization, and bioimmuration.
If this hole is later filled with other minerals, it is a cast.
An endocast or internal mold is formed when sediments or minerals fill the internal cavity of an organism, such as the inside of a bivalve or snail or the hollow of a skull. If the chemistry is right, the organism (or fragment of organism) can act as a nucleus for the precipitation of minerals such as siderite, resulting in a nodule forming around it.
The degree to which the remains are decayed when covered determines the later details of the fossil.
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is any preserved remains, impression, or trace of any once-living thing from a past geological age.
Examples include bones, shells, exoskeletons, stone imprints of animals or microbes, hair, petrified wood, oil, coal, and DNA remnants.