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3088 Views 2 Replies Last post: Jun 25, 2011 12:50 PM by footie RSS
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Jun 22, 2011 1:07 PM

Answered - fossil sponge in flint


i would be very thankful if anyone help me to identify this piece of found please?

with regards, it is approx. 1.5" in length.


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    Jun 22, 2011 1:06 PM (in response to footie)
    Re: hi, help please, to identify this piece of found.


    Hi footie,


    Welcome back to the forum. This looks, particularly in the last picture, like a fossil sponge preserved in what I think is flint.


    Flint is formed from a silica gel from the ancient sea floor, and often fossils were preserved in flint when the gel formed a nodule around them because of a chemical attraction to the dead organism. The silica gel later hardened into flint.


    Sponges are some of the most common fossils in flint. Sometimes the structure of the sponge is preserved inside the flint but usually the sponge skeleton breaks down and we are left with a hollow spherical flint nodule, known as a “rotten” flint. In this case, you can still see the structure of the sponge in the last of your photographs.


    As these sponges are preserved in flint we know that they are from the Late Cretaceous, 100-70 million years old , towards the end of the time of the dinosaurs.


    Sponges (Kingdom, Animalia; Phylum, Porifera) are animals that live attached to the sea floor. They don’t have mouths or any distinct organs. They pump water through their bodies and filter it to get small particles of food. Sponges have a fossil record that dates back about 600 million years, and there are about 10,000 species alive today. Some are very different to the sponges we use in the bathroom. Most live in the sea but some live in freshwater. They can be very bright colours, such as red, orange, yellow or even blue. Some can be giant, over several metres.


    I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any more questions.



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