One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A lustreless, crumbly, porous type of coal resembling wood charcoal.
- ‘The conglomerate is overlain by a claystone-dominated fossiliferous interval, which contains spirorbid worm tubes, abundant conchostracans, plant debris, fusain, and a pygocephalomorph-bearing limestone.’
- ‘In nearly all cases, fusain had the largest ratio of C-C bonds.’
- ‘As an independent check on the overall oxygen trend, it is notable that fusain is found for the first time in the Late Devonian.’
- ‘Forest fire, a major disturbance agent in some modern forests, does not appear to be a major factor given the rarity of fusain in the Buchanan Lake Formation deposits.’
- ‘Minor amounts of fusain also occur in association with the fossils.’
Late 19th century: from French, literally ‘spindle tree’, also ‘fine charcoal’ (made from the spindle tree).
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