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526 Views 5 Replies Last post: Aug 15, 2013 11:57 AM by Fiona - Museum ID team RSS
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Aug 13, 2013 4:58 PM

Plant markings on a rock, what are they?

Hi, We found this rock on the seashore on the west coast of Scotland. I wondered if the whitish plant shaped marks are just from a plant growing on the rock or if it is some sort of fossil? Thanks

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    Aug 13, 2013 9:09 PM (in response to Sedw)
    Re: Plant markings on a rock, what are they?

    Looks a bit of a hoax to me...

     

    If it was fossil, it wouldn't follow the pebble's surface like it does; and the 'branches' would connect with the main stem better. The latter would also apply if it was a modern plant.

     

    However, it might be the markings from holdfasts of a seaweed. Would need corroboration from somebody else before taking that as an ID though...

     

    Mike

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    Aug 15, 2013 11:57 AM (in response to Sedw)
    Re: Plant markings on a rock, what are they?

    Hi Sedw,

     

    I have sent your enquiry to a palaeontologist who responds:

     

    "It is hard to tell exactly from the photograph however, I think that the best identification is that it is a scar left by a seaweed holdfast. Kelp looks like the probably protagonist to me judging by the size and morphology of the pattern and there is plenty of that on the West coast of Scotland. From memory the holdfast secrets some sort of substance (acidic) which helps the holfast maintain a strong grip where it contact the substrate (in this case a rock) and can stain it (hence it stays there even when the kelp is gone and someone tries to rub it off!). "

     

    Please can you tell use where in the west of Scotland you found the specimen so that I can forward your images to our specialist Professor Brodie,

     

    Regards,

    Fiona

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