Friday, December 11, 2009

Fossil Rock

Occasionally I find a chunk of odd sandstone type rock full of fossils. There seems to be an immense number of species represented here. Of course, there may actually only be two or three different species. When you’re looking at a large collection of unidentifiable objects, you often imagine more types than are actually represented.

This looks like a fossilized Cheerio, but I believe it to be a segment of a Crinoid stem. I really should be more informed on fossil identification. At the age of five, I had plans of becoming a paleontologist. To the astonishment of my Kindergarten teacher, I was able to spell the word and explain to her that it was the study of dinosaurs. I think my main interest was in discovering dinosaurs in the manner of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Lost World. Pursuit of living organisms soon overshadowed the passion for dinosaurs.

Here is a pentagonal shaped crinoid segment. Gross differences, such as round vs. five sided, are easy to see. It takes a high quality fossil to display the finer details needed to clearly identify the specimen.

I can identify the white thing as some type of bi-valve shell.

I know this is definitely a plant or coral or sponge or something else. The particles making up the rock remind me of iron particles. I’ll have to check to see if the rock has any magnetic properties.

This could be us in a few million years. One of my fears is of some future society getting hold of my DNA and turning me into a cloned army of slave laborers.

I may have to bring this rock in and examine it under magnification. Who knows what might be found.


  1. That is SO COOL!!! Who knew they had Cheerios back in cave man days?! ;-)

    When I was a wee lass, my dad took me to a road cut in Idaho where at one time there had been a pretty thick ash deposit from a volcano. I was so excited when I found rocks with the black silhouettes of ferns and such. I've always wanted to find a trilobite fossil. I'm still looking...

  2. The bivalve shell fossil looks like a scallop but is probably a brachiopod. Brachiopods were extremely common during the Paleozoic.