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Clashach
Hello
            I help out at Elgin museum, Moray and we often get items loaned for i.d.
This piece of flint came in recently with a fossil embedded within it, unfortunately there's no record of any provenance or even who donated it.

I'm fairly sure it's not from NE Scotland but could have been washed up on a shoreline of course.
The "depth" of the fossil would be around 1mm.  
Looks like a sea urchin ?

Any help appreciated, thanks.

DSC07177.jpg    DSC07178.jpg 


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Richard
In the absence of other replies I'll have a go!

Flint is generally only found in Scotland as small pebbles on coastal beaches, apart from one area south-west of Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, known as the Buchan Ridge Gravel.

An expert on flint might be able to determine where it is from?

The fossil does look like a sea urchin but the preservation is unusual ?

Richard
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prep01
Hello Clashach, yes this is indeed the shaell (test) of a part of a sea urchin (echinoderm), but I can't (at the moment) find any information on the ID by plate shape but just on their size and what I have seen 'in the hand' I wou;d suggest a larger genus, e.g. Echinocorys. I will keep 'digging' though and will report back.
Colin Huller
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Chalkers
I'm actually not so sure it is flint. It certainly looks like chert, but flint is the term given to a specific form of chert found in chalk. The fracturing looks too jagged and uneven; lacking the distinctive conchoidal fracturing that flint is known for. Chert can be found in many other geological formations (the greensand for example) and to my knowledge there is no chalk in Scotland (even considering glacial erratics). In addition to that, the echinoid test doesn't quite look like the usual preservation expected of flint fossils; usually in flint preservation the calcite test is preserved and the flint forms around the fossil - sometimes the fossil breaks away and you are left with 'impressions' of the fossil - either internal or external. With your specimen, I can't see any indication of the original test. I don't know, maybe it's just the photos but to me it just doesn't 'look' like your usual flint fossil from the chalk. I do agree that it looks like a echinoid test fragment though.
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prep01
Hello Chalkers, I hear what you are saying, but in this modern world, 'derived fossils' can be deposited in an infinate number of ways, from natural to man enduced mechanical ones, even humans dropping fossils hundred, thousands of miles away! I have seen complete fossils (original shell  preserved) still in a flint / chert nodule that could be removed and the 'negative' examined then put back in situ!
Colin Huller
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Clashach
Interesting replies, thank you.   I'm beginning to think the fossil was found a long way from the Moray Firth, maybe found by a local person but while they were on holiday somewhere.

Excellent preservation though.
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