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Chris G
Looking at some samples I brought back from Aust Cliff there are no obvious cleavage planes. So for bone bed material and other hard heterogeneous strata is the expert approach to larger lumps progressive attempts to split with a chisel or a "whack it and see what you find"?
I've no desire to damage decent fossils but there doesn't appear to be an "easy" way in to the rock - so asking for more experienced advice.

Thanks,

Chris
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prep01
Hi Chris, the bone / coprolites / phosphatic nodules will be obvious, but there might be teeth in there and who knows what else! I was given a lump of bone bed from Lavernock a while ago and it had a dark 'crust' of a few millimeters on one face. When I looked at it under my stereo microscope at x10 (a loupe is good as well) I found a few unusual (up to 5mm) bits of black and it turns out that they are Cephalopod hooklets! These, along with some other fossils were only recognised in the Rhaetion - Penarth bone bed and documented in a paper published in 2017 at Bristol University - La n d o n , E . N . U., Duffin, C. J., Hildebrandt, C., Davies, T. G., Simms, M. J.,
& Benton, M. J. (2017). The first discovery of crinoids and cephalopod
hooklets in the British Triassic. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association,
128(3), 360–373. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pgeola.2017.03.005
The ones I have found look different to those illustrated so my research goes on!
So, the moral of this story is to look at what you have carefully and to dissolve the matrix in Acetic acid (white vinegar) and then re-examine it. Teeth are a litle more obvious!
Also, bone bed is tough to prep with an air pen, but grinding and polishing can be good. See previos post by P King Chef!
Colin Huller
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Chris G
Colin,

thanks for the reply. I completely agree with "So, the moral of this story is to look at what you have carefully" and that's what I always try to do. But this is my first experience of the bone bed material and it's both hard and with no obvious approach. I just wanted to check whether you much more experienced folk had an approach to it or, when you've decided there's nothing obvious, it's time for the big hammer. 

I can see the small teeth in the little amount of material I brought back but can also see the ones that sheared across the breaks - and they appear to go in every direction.

Chris
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Dirty Pete
Hi Chris,
I use it as decorative rocks around trees and in pots and allow the elements to do their work (acid rain). After a few years it starts to break apart. Smaller elements (teeth,fish scales etc) are released but sadly the bigger bones tend to disintegrate. 
IMG_1126.jpg 

Pete.
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Dirty Pete
Oh yes almost forgot, here's my hammer

IMG_1129.jpg 
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Chris G
So it's a big 'ammer job!

One day ..... one day.
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prep01
Pete - is that cheating? Where's your sense of adventure and retieving more!
Colin Huller
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