A prominent opacity is evident in the process zone of notched thin wafers of bone loaded in tension. Being recoverable upon unloading, this opaque zone can be stained only when the sample is under load, unlike the classically reported forms of damage which take up the stain in the unloaded state. Furthermore, despite the stain uptake, microcracks are absent in the stained area examined by high magnification optical microscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Therefore, the size scale and the electric charge of the features involved in the process zone were probed at the submicron level by using a wide range of fluorescent dyes of different molecular weights and charges. It was observed that negatively charged dyes penetrate the process zone and that dyes greater than 10 kDa (about 10—20 nm in size) were unable to label the process zone. Digital image correlation (DIC) measurements indicated that the opacity initiates at about 1% principal strain and the strain accumulates up to 14%. While the opacity was largely recoverable upon unloading, the core regions which experienced large strains had permanent residual strains up to 2%, indicating that the observed deformation phenomenon can be interlocked within bone matrix without the formation of microcracks. Based on the similarity of size and their known affinity for negatively charged species, exposure of mineral nanoplatelets is proposed as prime candidates. Therefore, the deformation process reported here may be associated with debonding of mineral crystals from the neighboring collagen molecules. Overall, post-yield deformation of bone at the micron scale takes place by large strain events which are accommodated in bone matrix by the generation of nanoscale positively charged interfaces.