Biomineralization – Lessons from the Past and for the Future
Biominerals are composite structures that are formed by living organisms and therefore differ from non-biologically precipitated minerals (e.g. in terms of size, form, and crystallinity). Since biominerals in hard tissues like bone, teeth, and shells are capable of surviving particularly long times after the death of an organism, they serve as an indispensable empirical source for the reconstruction of living conditions and ecological parameters in the past. In addition, as biominerals are highly conservative structures, they can be also used as models for modern bionics. The participants of this round table will address questions such as which aspects of individual life history can be deduced from biominerals, how this information is retrieved from the biominerals, and how modern medical and bionic sciences can benefit from these products of natural evolution.