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822 Views 4 Replies Last post: Dec 16, 2013 8:39 PM by MikeHardman RSS
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Dec 13, 2013 3:05 PM

Fossil Identification: Costsworld Fossil: Likely to be of marine life origins...

Afternoon all,

 

Three years back, our front driveway was redone using Cotsworld Stone, from the Cotsworld. Within the heaps of stone my father and I came across an 'egg' looking stone wich is believed to be a fossil.

 

Any comments/suggestions/help would be gratefully appreciated, in my quest to identify what it is.

 

Please see the photos attached below,

 

Regards,

Laurence

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  • Laurence,

     

    That is an interesting specimen for us here on NaturePlus because we have seen some related specimens, showing such string-of-beads apparently following the surface of a pebble. I say 'apparently' because the specimens have shown only a small amount of the structure on a small amount of the surface. Yours is different in that it clearly shows the structure following the surface of the pebble. That's important to diagnosis because it makes it very unlikely that it the structure was formed with the rock of which the pebble is now a small part. If that had been the case, we'd expect the surface of the pebble to intersect the structure.

     

    We have postulated various explanations in the past, but I think yours lends extra weight to the idea that the structure was caused by seaweed holdfasts, in recent years, not in the geological past.

     

    Here's an example of a modern pebble being used as an anchor by a seaweed

    http://www.dkimages.com/discover/previews/959/55074018.JPG

    [from http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucbt212/chapter10.htm]

     

    I note your specimen has an area where the strings radiate outwards from a single spot. That would fit with a seaweed anchoring itself on that spot. We could do with a marine biologist/enthusiast (are you watching rhossilian?) to comment, but in principle, seaweeds use chemicals to glue themselves to rocks and other substrates, and some of those can dissolve the substrate - perhaps making the little pockets.

     

    Ref: use the Search box on this page to search for 'string of beads', eg.

    http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/message/5416#5416

     

    Mike

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        • I see four possible explanations:

          1. my previous explanation is wrong; it is still just a theory

          2. the stone may have come from the coast (with man's help) via the Cotswolds

          3. the patterning was created on the stone in a river (in the Cotswlds) rather than in the sea

          4. the stone existed in its current shape back in the Jurassic, and the markings were created at that time; the patterned pebble then became part of the sediments later to form the Jurassic rocks.

           

          I wonder:

          - what other stones you have in your drive, coming from those heaps

          - where in the Cotswolds the stones came from (if from a quarry, it would be interesting to go look for some more specimens like yours).

           

          Mike

          PS. check your spelling of 'Cotswolds'

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