Q:

What is a petrified rock?

A:

Quick Answer

While there's no such thing as petrified rock, petrified wood is fossilized wood. According to YourGemologist, there is no wood actually left in petrified wood, only rock that takes the same form and shape of the wood.

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What is a petrified rock?
Credit: Pius Mahimbi Flickr CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

Petrification typically takes millions of years. Normally, trees decompose, but when a tree lands in a swamp or is otherwise covered up, decomposition is halted. The cells within the tree are hollowed out, and mineral-rich water seeps in. As the water evaporates, the minerals are left behind, creating a copy of what was there. It is possible to see growth rings in well-preserved samples.


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    How do petrified fossils form?

    A:

    According to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, petrified fossils form when mineral deposits replace the bones of dead creatures inside hardened sediment. Over time, these deposits completely replace the remains, forming an image of the bones out of solid rock.

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  • Q:

    How is petrified wood formed?

    A:

    Petrified wood forms much in the same way animal fossils form; decaying plant matter is replaced by mineral deposits. First, mineral-rich water leaves deposits in the pores of the wood, creating a rocky surface layer over the plant fiber. Then, the original wood decays, with more inorganic material filling in as it disappears. Eventually, the wood is completely replaced by stone, creating a petrified fossil.

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    How is petrified wood formed?

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    Petrified wood is formed when the wood is submersed in water containing minerals, which eventually take over the wood's organic matter, creating a fossil of stone.

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    What is petrified wood?

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    Petrified wood is a type of fossil formed when the organic material in wood is replaced by inorganic materials, such as minerals. It is commonly found in regions with volcanic activity, mudslides or other land displacement in which wood may be buried.

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