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In the December issue of Sedimentology (1979, 26) two papers on the disintegration of calcareous skeletons appeared. In both articles the authors (Alexandersson, 1979; Fitzgerald, Parmenter & Milliman, 1979) describe skeletal degradation, producing fragments and even single calcium carbonate crystallites in the present marine environment. At least part of this maceration (Alexandersson, 1978) is attributed to the breakdown of the skeletal organic matrix on the sea bottom. Both studies were carried out on samples from the sediment surface of marine cold-water regions. There, another destructive process is active: etching and dissolution of the calcareous particles by the ambient carbonate-under-saturated water (e.g. Alexandersson, 1975, 1978). The possible coexistence of these biological and physicochemical destructive processes and the lack of information from cores have left open questions in the above-mentioned two studies. Some of these questions were discussed by me (Lewy, 1975). My observations and conclusions may now have a wider significance.