Garnet, a hard, transparent or semi-transparent mineral occurring as crystals, as grains, or in irregular masses. Garnets are silicates in combination with iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, aluminum, or chromium. Most of the gem garnets —pyrope, almandite, spessartite, andradite, uvarovite, and grossularite—are reddish in color, but some are greenish, yellowish, or white. The garnet is the birthstone for January and represents constancy. Common garnets are used as watch jewels (bearings), as abrasives, and in coating sandpaper.
Earthquakes and volcanoes get all the press. But the landslides they trigger are often more devastating. What makes the ground suddenly rip downhill, taking trees and homes with it?
At best, fossilization is a long and tricky process that mineralizes an occasional Tyrannosaurus rex or other extraordinary find. How has that affected our chances at charting a model of life itself?