If the steps explained in Fossil Drying Processare not followed, the fossil may completely disappear or be unrecognizable. The following experiment was conducted to demonstrate the rapid deterioration of a moist specimen which was left exposed to Colorado's dry air.
Leaf cuticle disappearing & block showing several cracks (8/18/2002 )
Leaf nearly unrecognizable, cracks throughout matrix (8/21/2002 )
Leaf gone, wind blew shattered pieces away (8/24/2002 )