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157 Views 7 Replies Last post: Aug 9, 2018 8:38 PM by Dr T RSS
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Aug 7, 2018 8:34 PM

Is this a fossil within slate?

Hello, we found this interesting piece of slate on Challeborough beach, Devon. Can anyone tell me what the interesting, segmented line is? Thank you

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    Aug 8, 2018 11:14 PM (in response to MegsMum)
    Re: Is this a fossil within slate?

    Hi - not sure if it is organic or mineral.  This is the local geology - maybe Mike can contribute?

     

    Capture.JPG

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      Aug 9, 2018 7:41 AM (in response to Dr T)
      Re: Is this a fossil within slate?

      These rocks are pre-Carboniferous, but there were plants in the Devonian, but I don't think this is a plant stem.

       

      These fissile mudstones (debatable where proper slates or not) don't have many fossils, and there are few things with a shape that matches your specimen. So, after some pondering, my best educated guess is that it is a burrow, that was filled with silt/sand (hence different composition to the host mudstone) and later (a long time after lithification) stretched during tectonism, such that it now shows boudinage (the multiply-pinched aspect of its shape).

       

      The area is documented geologically by the veritable Ian West

      - http://www.southampton.ac.uk/~imw/Torquay.htm

       

      Mike

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        Aug 9, 2018 8:31 AM (in response to MikeHardman)
        Re: Is this a fossil within slate?

        Hi Mike

        Not sure that the Bigbury area is included in Ian's excellent Torbay website...???

        (try Agatha Christie?)

         

        Capture.JPG

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          Aug 9, 2018 8:35 AM (in response to Dr T)
          Re: Is this a fossil within slate?

          The Meadfoot Beds certainly are; that's largely what I was going on from Ian's document. //Mike

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              Aug 9, 2018 8:30 PM (in response to MegsMum)
              Re: Is this a fossil within slate?

              Provenance is very important with any collection. So note where and when you and she found it. The best way to do it is to put a number on the specimen and record details in a catalogue. That way, you deface the specimen least and give yourself maximum scope for recording provenance and other info (such as a link to this discussion).

              Best to number the specimen but putting a dab of white paint / typewriter correction fluid on it and (later) writing on the paint. Don't be tempted to use a felt-tip pen, as it will probably disperse over time and become illegible. If you get your daughter into the habit, hopefully she'll continue on her own at some point. Don't lose the catalogue!

               

              Mike

              PS. I have a funny feeling in my bones that Dr T doesn't agree with me about the burrow idea. I get that it looks suspiciously straight for a burrow. But it is still my best guess!

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                Aug 9, 2018 8:38 PM (in response to MikeHardman)
                Re: Is this a fossil within slate?

                I have no idea what it is so happy if you have come up with a plausible idea - I have a reputation for calling a lot of things burrows but just don't recognise this - but I am not familiar with the Meadfoot Group.  I can't offer any suggestions!

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