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436 Views 9 Replies Last post: Jan 24, 2014 9:52 PM by Dan RSS
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Jan 23, 2014 8:01 PM

Echinoid spine

Hi.  I went fossil hunting in the summer holidays of last year to Mallorca, and the fossils there are Neogene aged.  I showed some of my fossils from this location, like the Brachiopod with worm burrowings, but I've done some research on these pieces and I believe they could be Echinoid spines (?)

 

 

 

Am I right?

 

 

I've also showed a picture of some very simular fossils which I found on Google.

 

 

Any replies would be really appriciated because I've always wanted to find an Echinoid fossil (although I did find one complete one, but it was stuck in a boulder, but it was quite loose so hopefully it will have eroded and it will come out when I go back next year.)

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    Jan 23, 2014 8:31 PM (in response to Dan)
    Re: Echinoid spine

    Dan,

     

    1. The shape is a bit clubby, reminiscent of that sort of echinoid spine (well represented by the images of Pseudocidaris in the images in the last link). But I am fairly sure it is a piece of sediment containing small corals; the overall shape being insignificant.

     

    2 & 3. Not an echinoid spine; they are never bent (at least not that I've seen). It may be a piece of sedimentary rock representing a burrow. Recently, as a pebble, no.3, appears to have become encrusted with a bryozoan colony.

     

    (4. the same specimens, OK)

     

    Echinoid spines are quite interesting objects in that each one is a single crystal of calcite - a remarkable construction for an animal. They have internal structure not only in terms of their crystallography, but also by way of pores and growth rings. Read more here

    - http://web.mit.edu/cortiz/www/PartyBoston0704/OrtizRefsRequested10-29-09/SuXKamatSHeuerAH(2000)JMaterSci35.pdf

    Because of their single-crystal structure, echinoid spines never have the sort of feature shown running across your specimen in your first photo.

     

    I wish you luck in your echinoid quest.

     

    Mike

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