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390 Views 6 Replies Last post: Jan 5, 2014 5:22 PM by Dan RSS
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Jan 3, 2014 3:30 PM

Found on Charmouth beach

I found this today and am very intrigued as to what looks like purple leaves fossilised onto the rock? I'd like to protect this frombeing damaged and from mucky fingers (grandchildren) so can anybody advize what i could glaze it with?

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    Jan 3, 2014 5:53 PM (in response to smithy)
    Re: Found on Charmouth beach

    Nice find.  I think what you have there could be jurassic worm burrowings.  I'm not sure what the purple thing is, maybe another mineral in the rock.  The worm burrowings could suggest a piece of shale ( fossil mud), so the worms, when in the sea floor, or mud leaft their tracks.

     

     

     

    To protect it, there is a few ways:

     

     

     

    Paint it with very strong PVA glue (which I use sometimes, but be carful, because if it doesn't end up transparent it can destryoy the fossil (and if you do decide to do this don't put too much glue on).

     

     

    Use wood varnish.  It is a very good method which I use for almost all of my fossils (ammonites, brachiopods, bivalves ect.)

     

     

    A lot of people tumble their fossils, but I don't suggest this because I doubt it will work for fossils like this (it is mainly used for gemstones, petrefied wood, and some times even dinosaur bones ect)

     

     

    I hope this was helpful.

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    Jan 3, 2014 5:56 PM (in response to smithy)
    Re: Found on Charmouth beach

    Hopefully tabfish will give his opinion?  He is very knolagable about Jurassic fossils.

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      Jan 3, 2014 9:58 PM (in response to Dan)
      Re: Found on Charmouth beach

      Thank's Dan

      Probably the purple areas are were sea weed or something similar has attached it's self and tried to grow but like on the Holderness after a storm these rock specimens get 'thrown up' onto the beach and you see things like massive barnicles that belong in deep water but because of the turbidity of the sea cause by a storm you can find unusual natural specimens on the beach.

      As Dan suggested if you want to make sure the specimen remains in one piece PVA glue watered down and painted onto it will preserve it, but there are other types of preservative that use plastic dissolved in acitone or varnish.

      Intersting find, did you spot anything else.

       

      Tabfish

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      Jan 4, 2014 2:35 PM (in response to smithy)
      Re: Found on Charmouth beach

      These are modern polychaete (probably serpulid) worm deposits/tunnels.

       

      You can tell they are modern because of their quality and the fact that they follow the surface of a (modern) pebble. If they had been fossil, the surface of the pebble would have intersected them.

       

      OK, there is a small chance they could have been created on the surface of an ancient (eg. Jurassic) pebble, which subsequently became part of the rock strata, then was eroded out very recently, with you finding it soon enough that that beach erosion did not degrade the worms deposits. I consider that unlikely.

      However, fossil serpulid worm deposits do occur on fossils. In that sense, you may argue 'But what's the difference between an ancient pebble and a fossil?' The answer in terms of substrate is 'not much'. But I think the hydraulic/depositional regimes favour the preservation of serpulids on fossils more than serpulids on pebbles.

       

      Some refs re serpulid worms:

      - http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/earth/fossils/article-cyclical-fossil-record/index.html

      - http://paleo.cc/ce/tracefos.htm (search for 'Serpulid')

      - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serpulidae

       

      (In case anyone comes across this post in future, this diagram shows useful structural cross sections allowing discrimination between scaphopod, vermetid gastropod, and serpulid worms -

      http://archives.datapages.com/data/specpubs/memoir77/m77ch09/images/p175_01.jpg)

       

      The purplish areas are probably, as Tabfish states/implies, glue from some sedentary marine plant/animal (which has since gone). Less likely, they could be eroded remnants of white veins, stained purple by marine organisms.

       

      Mike

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        Jan 5, 2014 5:22 PM (in response to MikeHardman)
        Re: Found on Charmouth beach

        Oh yeh, I think Mike is right it saying they are modern burrowings.  I thought they could have been modern before I said they were jurassic, but I presumed they were prehistoric, but now Mike has explained I agree they are modern.

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