The biomineral component of bones and teeth is synthesized within the body, under direct physiological control, and therefore the chemistry of bone (including the trace element chemistry) reflects aspects of the animal’s biology, particularly the trace metal load, but also the state of metabolism of specific trace metals. Bone mineral is relatively reactive due principally to its small crystal size, and consequently bone is unstable once removed from the body. Bone undergoes a complex set of diagenetic processes post mortem, which generally lead to dissolution, however bones and teeth are relatively common components in (post-Ordovician) rocks. The trace element content...

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