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1136 Views 1 Reply Last post: Aug 25, 2014 10:05 PM by MikeHardman RSS
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Aug 25, 2014 2:39 PM

Possible plant cross section fossil?



I found this one washed up on the beach in lowestoft, east anglia.


It might just be a cool stone, (I've never seen anything like it) but a friend thought it might be some kind of reedy plant cross section that had been fossilised? Any ideas?



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    Aug 25, 2014 10:05 PM (in response to Easterling88)
    Re: Possible plant cross section fossil?

    Square is unusual when it comes to fossils.


    Some crinoids (sea lilies) have columnals that are squarish, eg. Xenocrinus. But those tend to have central canals that are considerably smaller than yours percentage-wise. Your fragments are also different in that the canals are round in cross section.


    I note your fragments show, in many cases, concave edges. That helps lead me to think they may be annelid worm tubes. We see yours mainly in cross section, but they look like what is shown here in 3D, and tentatively IDd there as Genicularia vertibralis. These are commonly associated with the Jurassic Oxford Clay. Here are some pieces for sale on Amazon - (I wouldn't niomally refer to material for sale, but there are few useful photos to be found). But there are records from other strata and locations.


    19th Century books refer to Serpula quadrangularis; that and S. rustica have 4-sided tubes.

    (eg. 'The Fossils and Palaeontological Affinities of the Neocomian Deposits of Upware and Brickhill with Eight Plates Being the Sedgwick Prize Essay for the Year 1879':

    S. quadrangularis is now a synonym for Nogrobs quadrangularis


    There are other species of Nogrobs that have 4-sided tubes, eg. Nogrobs (Tetraditrupa) canteriata

    as shown in this illustration (5a and 6)


    (from 'Sabellids and serpulids (Polychaeta sedentaria) from the type Maastrichtian, the Netherlands and Belgium':


    So, I am sure you have fragments of annelid worm tubes, but there are a few possible genera and more species, and I can't be sure which is yours.


    The non-4-sides tubes are probably another species of annelid.


    There is also a foram or small gastropod towards the top-middle in one of your photos.


    Because your specimen came loose from a beach, we can't be sure of its actual origin. Otherwise, we might be able to use age and location to help with IDs.


    And I concur - it is a cool specimen!



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