I'm currently working on a habitable super-earth and was considering using Copper Carbonate as a replacement for bone, I've heard it's both heavier and stronger although I would like to know the specifics of how strong it actually is. This would also result in a turquoise color when oxidized. However I don't know which color it would be if it was unoxidized. I specifically chose Copper Carbonate because it's relatively easy to evolve on my copper-rich superearth. Feel free to suggest other compositions too. Thanks in advance!

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    $\begingroup$ I am not sure about mechanical properties, but copper carbonate should be much more vulnerable to acids. So, no copper carbonate teeth, I am afraid. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Jun 21, 2021 at 17:26
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    $\begingroup$ Do you have a hyperlink to where you saw copper carbonate was stronger? I spent a little while researching this morning (answer added), but found the opposite. I might be overlooking something. $\endgroup$ Jun 22, 2021 at 10:29
  • $\begingroup$ I don't have an exact source, someone on discord told me about it being stronger than ordinary calcium-based bones. $\endgroup$
    – Explunky
    Jun 22, 2021 at 12:15

1 Answer 1


Basic copper (II) carbonate reacts with water or the moisture in the air, and forms copper (II) carbonate hydroxide, or malachite. Malachite is softer than hydroxyapatite (the main component of bone), and has perfect cleavage in one direction and fair in another, compared to the poor cleavage of hydroxyapatite. This becomes important because it means that malachite will be easier to fracture along certain planes, making it structurally weaker.

Overall, it also means copper carbonate isn't very useful as a bone material in comparison, and certainly not stronger.


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