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Dinosaur Bone

Fossil Picture Gallery


Dinosaur bone is just like the bones of reptiles and birds: a hard shell around a spongy, rigid marrow. (more below)
Polished as a cool red trabecular gemstone
Photo (c) 2008 Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com (fair use policy)
This polished slab of dinosaur bone, shown about three times life size, exposes the marrow segment, called trabecular or cancellous bone. Where it came from is uncertain—it was furnished to me as a gemstone.

Bones have a lot of fat inside them and a lot of phosphorus too—today whale skeletons on the seafloor attract lively communities of organisms that persist for decades. Presumably marine dinosaurs held this same role during their heyday.

Dinosaur bones are known to attract uranium minerals. I haven't held a Geiger counter next to this specimen, but it wouldn't surprise me if it had uranium too.

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