Taphonomy is a discipline of paleontology that focuses on the processes involved in the death, pre-burial decay or dismemberment, burial and subsequent fossilization of living organisms. These processes include cause and manner of death, decay, decomposition, transportation, burial, and chemical alterations. The procedures of vertebrate taphonomy are outlined in a number of treatises, but the classic work is that of A. K. Behrensmeyer [1991. Terrestrial vertebrate accumulations; pp. 291-335 in P. A. Allison and D. E. G.Briggs (eds.), Taphonomy: releasing the data locked in the fossil record. Plenum Press, New York.] Biostratinomy is a closely related term reserved for the processes up until the time of burial.