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Author Topic: Fossil
Ashitaka

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Icon 5 posted February 07, 2010 12:09      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So, when I was young, in northern IN, I found this fossil.

As a child I never doubted it was reall, but since I have grown up I have always really wondered if I really found such a fine fossil specimen in the woods out behind my house or if it was some fake thing made for a fishtank.

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It seems it may be real, because I would have no idea how someone would fake this, this fossil is 3D and is hollow on the inside. it does not seem to be made of concrete. Many, many fossils are found in the limestone of IN.

I just don't know, I showed it to a geologist once, he didn't know.

IT would be cool to have such a nice specien, but it doesn't seem likely that One would find such a nice things in the woods.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

Posts: 3089 | From: Switzerland | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Grummash

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Icon 1 posted February 07, 2010 14:21      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Speaking as someone with only a general level of knowledge about fossils and/or marine biology, I'd like to offer my two cents...

I doubt it is a fossil, but I see no reason why it can't be natural and genuine. To my untutored eye, the first picture shows the shape of a badly broken conch, or similar, shell.

From the man-made objets in the picture I am guessing 8"-10" overall length, so that's not a problem. The material though, is quite odd, and not what you would expect from sea shell. However, two possibilities suggest themselves:
1) It is natural shell that has some sort of accretion forming a new outer surface. What that would be, I don't know.
2) It is natural shell that has degraded, perhaps through some chemical process, thus giving a very different texture to the material.

Another point to bear in mind is this - just because you found it in the woods, doesn't mean that it where it has always been. Your post doesn't state whether you found the item in an undisturbed stratum, but I think my suggestions still hold even if you did.

I will now sit back and wait for the experts to emerge and blow all my ideas out of the water! [Big Grin]

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted February 07, 2010 16:22      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ Ash, believe what ever you want. As an old fossil, I think it is a thing of beauty so enjoy.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


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Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted February 08, 2010 00:02      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
just to add, it is definately made out of some sort of rock ( it is not shell through and through). I almost want to chip a small peice off and test it chemically to see if it is really Limestone, but I don't really know what the ID test for limestone is. ( I am working under the thought that a fossil out if northern IN would be limestone.

I was between five and ten when I found it, being that is when I was living where I remember finding ir. I really don't remember finding it to say whether I dug it up or if it was lying on the surface.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted February 08, 2010 02:21      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
<Pure_speculation>
Impressive sea shells were a popular trade good in pre-columbian North America, and have been found in archaeological digs far from the ocean.

I take your word for it that what you have isn't shell, but...

Could it be a ceramic imitation of a conch shell?

I know some pretty cunning potters, I'm sure they could come up with a fairly convincing imitation conch if they were sufficiently motivated (i.e. if real conches were a rare and exotic luxury item)

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted February 08, 2010 02:32      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
<Pure_speculation>
Impressive sea shells were a popular trade good in pre-columbian North America, and have been found in archaeological digs far from the ocean.

I take your word for it that what you have isn't shell, but...

Could it be a ceramic imitation of a conch shell?

I know some pretty cunning potters, I'm sure they could come up with a fairly convincing imitation conch if they were sufficiently motivated (i.e. if real conches were a rare and exotic luxury item)

It does seem like a conch, but if I were to descibe what it is made out of it seems to be a stone similar to limestone or concrete, but as concrete is very liqiud when it is poured, I do not know how someone would make a 3D spiral that is hollow on the inside out of a fluid. a mold would not work. It is very detailed. I saw a real gastropod fossil once that looked very similar to mine, but it was filled with stone and not hollow. I have never seem a hollow fossil before.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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Stibbons
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Icon 1 posted February 08, 2010 04:39      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It is very unlikely to be a fossil - shells in that good a condition do exist, but in very rare situations, and with the gaps filled in with the matrix (often limestone) eg Portland limestone. Most likely it's a nice conch shell, or as TFD suggested, a ceramic model of one.

As a side note, the (easiest) test for limestone is to see if it fizzes in acid. But then, a fairly old shell will, so not much diagnostic help there.

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macmcseboy

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Icon 1 posted February 08, 2010 14:16      Profile for macmcseboy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
general appearance appears to be cement.... Without a more detailed macro photo, I cannot be certain.

Before I was an Apple tech...from the time I was 5 through High school I wanted to be a Geologist or paleontologist.

Funny thing is, I never found the samples, they found me. Still do on occasion.

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Live long and prosper.

Posts: 1139 | From: Victoria BC... | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted February 09, 2010 01:26      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I am thinking now that it is simply a really old non fossilized shell. problem is both shell and cement are mainly Calcium Carbonate, So I do not know how I would test this. If it was cement, i would really wonder how it was made ( seems impossible).

Cement should not only have calcium carbonate in it but also silica oxide (sand) and gypsum ( calcium sulfate). Does anyone know if shells also contain calcium sulfates, (wikipedia is no help)If shell contains no calcium sulfates perhaps I will dissolve some of this in acid and look for sulfate ions. that would tell me if it was a shell or concrete?

has anyone ever held a really large conch or whelp shell before, are they really heavy? I always thought shells should be light and delicate, but have only ever held small shells.

EDIT:

USP Monograph for sulfate is to dissolve it in HCl, then see if barium chloride will produce a white precipitate. Now to go make sure shell doesn't contain sulfates befor I try this.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

Posts: 3089 | From: Switzerland | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted February 09, 2010 04:44      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ashitaka:
as concrete is very liqiud when it is poured, I do not know how someone would make a 3D spiral that is hollow on the inside out of a fluid. a mold would not work

Lost wax casting, I've watched Mrs Druid do it many times.

You'd make a model of the _inside_ of the shell out of wax, pour concrete around it, wait for it to set, then heat it and let the melted wax pour out.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted February 09, 2010 06:13      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ TFD, I have done a slightly different means, called lost foam. You carve up a block of styrofoam put it in the Sand Mold and pour in the hot metal as the foam is vaporized the sand retains its shape and the casting is done.

____ Male plug carve the block of styrofoam, then cover it with Fiberglass/epoxy when it cures pour in gasoline, desolving the foam. You now have a tank, or the female part from the plug.

____ Now with ASH's shell, it may have weathered in a Calcium rich invirnment and may be covered with deposits. Much of North America is Limestone rich.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged


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