Carbonization refers to fossils being preserved as dark-colored, flattened, carbon-rich films.  Most fossil leaves in the rock record have been carbonized.  But, any fossil that's been preserved as a dark, flattened film can be called carbonized.


Carbonized fossil ferns on Pennsylvanian-aged, gray mudshale (10.6 cm across).



Tetragraptus (Hemichordata, Graptolithina, Graptoloidea), preserved by carbonization on cream-colored clayshale (field of view 5.5 cm across).  Most graptolite fossils are preserved as carbonized films.

Stratigraphy: Bendigonian Formation, Lower Ordovician

Locality: Spring Gully, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia



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