Am ancient in years myself now and thought I had seen most fossils. A friend found this on his rockery. The previous house owner was "A bit of a collector" Rockery also had superb 2kg specimen of Galena and flourite cubes intergrown. Sadly badly frost damaged.
It is a 3d impression/fossil of who knows what. I made a plaster copy with good old copydex. the copy is the paler version in the pictures.
The original is fine-grained, not unlike plaster-of-paris or fine sand. I think it's calcareous but haven't tested it.
I have looked up "tubeworm fossils" and "segmented worm fossils" but they are all flat 2d impression/trace fossils.
The only other thing it reminds me of is the tail end of a very large beetle grub (I also breed beetles). Foto affixed. Can send plaster copy to wherever.
Item is about 6cm long x3cm x2cm and weighs 46 grams.
Hoping for answer, it's a new one on me......................Triopsking
It's me again, Triopsking. Have looked at my first enquiry and for some reason the fotos are really distorted on this site (not the only problem I've had here). Please note it is 6cm long x3cm x2cm, not weird like in the foto!
I think it is a piece of banded flint.
The surface of flints often appears chalky.
They crop up fairly often on NaturePlus.
If you use the NaturePlus search box (top right), and look for 'banded flint', you'll get to some documents and discussions.
Here's one (it is a word document; your browser will probably ask you to save it; then you can open it):
Really sorry to keep disagreeing but it's not flint, I'd stake my life on it! I have spent enough time on chalk beaches and looking for flint tools to know every presentation of flint. How to proceed when you good folk say "flint" and I'm sure it's not? Sorry, maybe I should just say "OK, thanks"? Rx
That is fine!
Please can you provide a better focus of the photo image of orientation F3568 as I think that this orientation is key to better understanding your specimen. Please could you place on a black background as I feel the reflection of the white paper is interring with the colour - I am not sure whether the 'bluey grey is a true reflection of the specimen?
Please describe the colour.
Fiona and I (and others here) are at a disadvantage through not having the original specimen to inspect (and slice with a rock saw). So in general, we may be tentative in expressing our opinions, and we appreciate that we may be wrong sometimes. Hopefully, though we, with you, will help to define the envelope of possibilities.
I think Fiona is seeing the same thing as me in F3568.JPG, viz. a remnant band, with geometry suggesting it, and by implication the other bands, are bands in 3D (not just on the surface). That would support our bias towards banded flint or banded something. And the something could be fossil. One could say crinoid stems are composed of 3D bands. But I suspect it is not fossil. There seems to be no evidence of a central canal (as in crinoids) or other organic structure; and there is a degree of unevenness in the bands that suggests an inorganic origin to me. However, there is a fossil with this sort of appearance; I shall ponder it some more.
Both slicing it open and testing for carbonate would be very useful exercises...
(One might postulate testing the surface for carbonate, but a positive result could be inconclusive as the surface could be misrepresentative of the core. A scratch hardness test has the same weakness.)
here are some selected images/discussions regarding specimens with similar morphology (banded at one end):
- http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/thread/3401 (not at one end)
Some of those show the banding confined to a disctinct part in the middle.
That is probably due to phased growth of the flint: an early episode creating the banded part and a later episode creating a non-banded enlargement.
I've pondered the fossil I had in mind - Hippurites, but I really don't think it fits your specimen. Some examples:
Dear Fiona and Mike and others, Many thanks for your help. All your fotos are beautiful and I almost wish this specimen was a Hippurites! I do think we're getting somewhere. As you say you are at a disadvantage as my pictures are lousy! Unfortunately I've given the original fossil back to my friend who lives nearby so I can't re-foto it immediately and I'm going on hols (Yayy!) on Saturday, but the fossil-owning-friend is coming to somewhere called "The Natural History Museum" in a few weeks so I'll get him to pack up the original and drop it in at reception "FAO Fiona et al, Fossil ID department"? I think he's hoping he could talk to someone there-and-then. He's uncomfortable about any destructive testing but understands this wouldn't be suggested unless absolutely necessary...You really have all been v. helpful. I'll maybe contact again in ten days or so.....Rx
Great news! Don't worry we will not need to do anything destructive to your specimen. I hope to see him in person, perhaps he would like to phone the Angela Marmont Centre Identification and Advisory Service to arrange a time so that I don't miss him.
All the best,
In relation to your first post about the previous house owner being a 'bit of a collector'
It made me think what the next occupiers of our house will think when they look closer at the stones that make up the rockery and what I am using to fill in the garden pond, lower Lias - lower Jurassic rocks, partial large ammonites etc.
Why are we filling it in? We have two small grandchildren and its probably the safest thing to do.
Took this image the other day, looks a bit of a mess but we are getting there.
I agree with Mike & Fiona that its a banded flint, I'm no geologist but i have seen loads of these, i have a good selection of examples i have collected over the years & your specimen compares very well against some of them, also had a good look at your photos & see nothing to suggest its something else, whereas every detail in the images can found on banded flints.
Still take it into the N.H.M & let us know what they say afterwards, like Mike has said already, making an I.D from photos can have disavantages & its not the same as seeing the specimen in in the flesh.