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2908 Views 11 Replies Last post: Nov 4, 2013 5:12 PM by Dan RSS
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Oct 10, 2013 5:56 PM

Is this a calamite?

image.jpgI Found this in Ossett, West Yorkshire UK.  It is carboniferous In age.  I want a second opinion because I'm almost positive it's a calamite but I'm not sure.  If it is a calamite, how much could it be worth.  Also note it has no restoration or repair and it doesn't have any chips.  Also it is 3 inches tall and 3 inches thick, and it has tiny sparkly stonesinside  which I believe are crystals.

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    Oct 10, 2013 8:59 PM (in response to Dan)
    Re: Is this a calamite?



    It is in the class Equisetopsida (Sphenopsida), and probably in the order Equisetales.

    Within that, one of the genera in the Calamitaceae is most likely; perhaps Calamites or Annularia.

    One should also consider Equisetites - see here -

    Many specimens of this group of fossil plants, like yours, simply do not contain enough material/information to allow an accurate ID.


    Note that calamite is not a real word. In the singular, you may refer to a specimen or piece of Calamites.


    The sparkly bits will be crystals of minerals either within the rock comprising the fossil, or possibly as remnants of a vein crossing the specimen (providing a weakness along which the specimen broke).


    It is a nice clean specimen, though rather short.

    Value: I suggest you look for similar specimens on eBay, but don't get your hopes up.



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        Oct 13, 2013 8:21 AM (in response to Dan)
        Re: Is this a calamite?

        It sounds as if you might appreciate the extra detail afforded by using a binocular microscope; they can be bought second hand at reasonable prices. In the field, a hand lens (as I mentioned in a previous post) is the tool, though it can be used in the lab as well. But a binocular microscope is a better lab tool. That's designed for looking at the surface of hand specimens in reflected light. The other sort of microscope commonly used by geologists is a petrographical microscope, which is designed primarily for looking at thin sections of rock - thin enough that they are translucent. That allows the component minerals to be seen in transmitted light, either plain- or cross-polarized. If you're excited by the little crystals you see in your Calamites specimen, you'd be amazed at how even a dull-looking rock's minerals look in transmitted cross-polarized light! Have a look here -



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