Abstract

Biominerals are a subset of the mineral kingdom, those created by living creatures. In spite of usually fine grain size and intimate association with organic materials, biominerals are readily identified as common mineral species. Iron hydroxides and oxyhydroxides, calcium carbonates and calcium phosphates from uni- and multi-cellular species are presented as examples of biominerals, and biomineralization processes. Their special morphological, and crystal chemical, characteristics provide unique structural contributions to the life forms that create them. Investigations of novel habitats should present opportunities to expand the number of biominerals and their potential for industrial applications.

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