Could somebody please have a go at identifying this object please? It was found in the ground in Bledlow, Buckinghamshire. It looks like shell to me but I guess thats highly unlikely! Any questions please ask. I'd love to find out what it is!
I presume you consider it fossil, based on hardness and weight...
The structure looks prismatic, making me think 'bivalve shell'.
But it is unusual in my experience to see that granular surface. Perhaps that is the result of corrosion by humic/other acids in the soil - removing the original smooth exterior surface and exaggerating the ends of the prisms.
This is a diagram showing the prismatic nature of a bivalve shell
And if you scroll down this page you'll see a photo
(search for 'Posted 24 February 2011 - 06:25 PM')
We could definitely do with other opinions..
Yes it is certainly fossil. I have been doing some digging around myself (Excuse the pun!), and have come across this article, which has made me rather excited...
If you see the close up photograph with a side profile of the shell, mine looks identical to that. Hopefully another expert can take a look for me?
Yes - and dinosaur egg shells can have surface granulosity like yours, eg.
Need a dino-egg expert...
Meanwhile, kevbev, please tell us more about where you found the specimen:
- you state 'in the ground' but is that soil or rock (or poorly-lithified sediment)?
- how deep?
- other pieces of this material?
- other fossils?
- nearby rock outcrops? what can you tell us about them?
- could you be more precise than 'Bledlow, Buckinghamshire'?
Thanks again for your reply.
My piece is identical to the one in your second link!
Ok to clarify the item was found in a location called "The Lyde" Directly behind the church in Bledlow, It was found on the surface. The ground composition is deep chalk, and there is a lot of Rock chalk on the surface. The top of the garden nearby was excavated heavily to create a tennis court, so it could possibly have been much deeper down. Whilst the chalk in the area obviously came from underwater, there is also a cement works very nearby which could possibly be a source? It was found on its own with no other fragments. Loads of other fossils have been found in the area, but all of marine origin. There are no rocky outcrops nearby. I hope this helps. Many thanks, Kev.
Have you seen weathering produce that sort of granulose surface?
I think it is entirely possible, it is just that I have not noticed it myself.
I grew up on the chalk of the North Downs, and Inocermus was one of my first and commonest fossils. As I recall, the surfaces were always smooth or smoothish.
I once found something similar at an old disused chalk site locally - it was a chunk of Inoceramid shell in an old spoil pile where the outer surface had been completely dissolved leaving the internal little columns exposed.
It took a while to realise what it was - it looked quite exotic
I think the clue here is that both were surface finds - perhaps burial in acid soils is required to produce it?
Ryan - Thanks, good.
Kev - We think you have part of a shell of an Inoceramus or related bivalve, partly corroded eg. by acids from soil and/or rain.
- Inoceramus - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inoceramus
- chunk of Inoceramid shell in cross-section - http://www.txroadrunners.com/images/pics/waxahachie2004/inoceramusshell1.jpg