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Fossil formed by the infiltration of minerals into cavities between and within cells of natural wood, usually by silica (silicon dioxide, SiO) or calcite (calcium carbonate, CaCO). Often this replacement of organic tissue by mineral deposits is so precise that the internal structure as well as the external shape is faithfully represented; sometimes even the cell structure may be determined.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on petrified wood, visit Britannica.com.
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