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2276 Views 2 Replies Last post: Jun 18, 2013 12:35 PM by MikeHardman RSS
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Jun 15, 2013 3:44 PM

are these rocks fossilized bones?

I would appreciate any thoughts on whether these are fossilised bones. They were found together in Sandy Bedfordshire, in a sandy soil type. The rocks are solid and heavy. Note the holes through some of them, and one has a cross sectioned exposed which appears to display channelling.


Thanks for your help,



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    Jun 18, 2013 12:03 PM (in response to Sonya)
    Re: are these rocks fossilized bones?

    Hi Sonya,

    Difficult to say from the photographs, but I do not think this is fossil bone, the texture appears to be granular and the circular section more likely to suggest a pyrite concretion.


    Identifying fossil bone from rock or concretion can be tricky. Key features to look out for:

    • Is there any evidence of preservation of the internal bone structure, for e.g. can you see a honeycomb appearance due to the preservation of different canals and structure of the bone? If yes, this provides evidence that the object was  biological in origin.
    • The porous nature of some fossil bones will cause it to slightly stick to your tongue if you lick it.
    • A rock or concretion will be solid, and the inside of the rock will look like the outside.



    You may like to look at some of the fossil bone images at:


    Hope this helps a little,


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      Jun 18, 2013 12:35 PM (in response to Fiona - Museum ID team)
      Re: are these rocks fossilized bones?

      I agree with Fiona - not bone or fossil bone.


      It is probably abiogenic. There is clearly a good deal of iron in the sediment, and iron-rich sediments are good candidates for concretions, Leisegang rings, etc - features showing movement of iron / iron compunds through the rock. Sometimes fissures in the rock can control the development of concretionary structures, which can result in somewhat tubular shaped objects (the fissures can form a long thin box, and the concretion approximates that, with rounded corners).


      If I was forced to suggest a biogenic origin, it could be stagshorn coral or Thalassinoides. But it is not quite right.

      See this discussion -



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