from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The study of the conditions and processes by which organisms become fossilized.
  • n. The conditions and processes of fossilization.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The study of the fate of the remains of organisms after they die, especially the study of fossilization.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Greek taphē, grave + -nomy.


  • Rotting fish and taphonomy: what fossilizes? was the previous entry in this blog.

    Sarracenia purpurea - The Panda's Thumb

  • Rotting fish and taphonomy: what fossilizes? is the next entry in this blog.

    Evidence that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is wrong? - The Panda's Thumb

  • Martin Brazeau has an excellent post on taphonomy at The Lancelet reporting a paper in which folks let poor innocent critters rot in order to ascertain which anatomical features are likely to be preserved and which are likely to be lost before fossilization, and the implications for interpreting fossils of ‘soft’ tissues for phylogenetics.

    The Panda's Thumb: Research News Archives

  • The shell bed taphonomy is associated with a ceratopsian quarry from the Kaiparowits Formation in southern Utah.

    Archive 2009-01-01

  • There were several good talks in the morning on everything from plesiosaurs, to Deinosuchus in the Kaiparowits and Wahweap formations (in press), to taphonomy of dinosaur bonbeds in the Kaiparowits Formation (one of my favorite talks).

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • This area of study is termed taphonomy, and part of my palaeontological training has involved taphonomic interpretation of fossils as well as actualistic work on modern bodies and bones.

    Archive 2006-05-01

  • John will be talking about the taphonomy of the site, a project we started working on this past summer and preliminarily reported on at GSA this past year.

    Burpee Museum's 10th annual PaleoFest

  • I actually used some of the info from it to open up a discussion of South African cave taphonomy, so it does come in handy.

    Books part 2: What I am currently reading

  • Late Pleistocene sedimentology, taphonomy and megafauna extinction on the Darling Downs, southeastern Queensland.


  • The March 2008 issue of Palaios has two interesting taphonomy articles:

    Archive 2008-03-01


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  • Yes. Everything that happens between death and fossilization.

    January 1, 2009

  • “The sciences of taphonomy — how bodies decompose and eventually become stone — and paleontology have allowed us to piece together many details of ancient ecosystems.�?

    The New York Times, Reflections on an Oyster, by Olivia Judson, December 30, 2008

    January 1, 2009