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Experimental evidence that clay inhibits bacterial decomposers: Implications for preservation of organic fossils

Exceptionally preserved organic fossils are commonly associated with clay-rich horizons or directly with clay minerals. It has been posited that interactions between clay minerals and organic tissues inhibit enzymatic reactions or protect carcasses in such a way that decay is impeded. However, interactions between clay minerals and the biological agents of decay, especially bacteria, may be at least as important to preservation potential.
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