Why do bones take so long to decompose

(ORDO NEWS) — We all understand that after death, when a person is buried, his remains quickly decompose. However, bones do this very slowly. The most interesting thing is that many dinosaur bones have not decomposed until now! But why?

Dinosaur bones are millions of years old! Why don’t they decompose?

It’s funny, but there is no single answer to such a seemingly simple question. Bones decompose at different rates, and some don’t decompose at all! So how does this process take place?

Decomposition occurs with all organic matter, although each organism decomposes differently. The basic concept is the same: chemical processes break down organic matter into simpler forms that can be absorbed and reused in the biome.

Bodies can decompose in two ways: by chemical/physical processes or by other living organisms that destroy living tissue. The rate of decomposition depends on many factors, including temperature, humidity, presence of insects, exposure to air, soil acidity, and dozens of other variables.

The human body can lose all flesh and tissue in just a week, or it can stay put for thousands of years! It all depends on the conditions in which the body is located, and the same applies to the bones.

Despite the fact that it seems that the bones do not decompose at all, this is not the case, because in this case we would find them everywhere! Here it is important to understand not only the surrounding conditions, but also the composition of the bones itself.

It is a living tissue that contains blood vessels and nerves. However, bones are mostly made up of collagen, which creates a strong, porous matrix. Collagen is a very strong and stable protein due to its structure and chemical composition. Only certain enzymes can break down collagen.

In addition, collagen binds to calcium and other minerals within the bone, giving the bone its strength. This helps her throughout her life to keep our skeleton stable and even. But the most interesting thing is that minerals do not just bind to collagen, they “cover” it, blocking access to organic matter for microbes.

Bones last longer in dry and arid conditions, as microbes cannot survive high temperatures without water. If the body is exposed to water, insects, open air, or highly acidic soil, bacteria and fungi can enter the porous bone network and find collagen proteins in the bones, causing the bone tissue to begin to decompose.

But some bones do manage to achieve true immortality! If they turn into fossils. These are bones that are covered with sediment so quickly that air simply cannot penetrate to them. This makes any decomposition impossible.


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