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4171 Views 3 Replies Last post: Nov 18, 2010 8:12 PM by FarmerShepherdSheep RSS
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Sep 30, 2010 8:51 AM

Any ideas what this is?

The attached photos show a black stone like  item I found in the Libyan dessert about 30 years ago. I found it in the sand whilst digging my Landrover out of a dune (about 50km from Sabbah).

I always thought the black stone item was a fossil of a male member of some animal, perhaps prehistoric, as it has some very distinct markings which look like scales, but was told that soft tissue would never end up as a hard stone. In addition the black stone looks like it has been subjected to high temperature (almost glassy, vitrified by lightning?), and has some larger white coarse particles incorporated in it in some areas.The stone has an irregular hole running through the middle of it, which is small at the top but quite large at the base.  I would assume it extremely unlikely to be man made due to the remote area in which I found it. 




Any Ideas?
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 30, 2010 2:36 PM (in response to colinmabey)
    Re: Any ideas what this is?


    This looks like a nodule of chert, a rock formed from silica. Chert nodules form in all kinds of irregular shapes that are often mistaken for fossils. The broken surfaces in the third picture down are quite characteristic of chert. Chert, like glass, is composed of silica, which explains the glassy texture you mention. I've attached a factsheet with some more information about chert. You are correct that soft tissue rarely fossilises, as it tends to decay or be destroyed before it can become fossilised.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 18, 2010 8:12 PM (in response to colinmabey)
    Re: Any ideas what this is?
    Could it be any sort of fossilised excretion?
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