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sd41
How about this for a bit of pareidolia. Dinosaur skull with teeth found on mars.

Fossil hunting...What a rush! :)
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flinter

Hi all,


Found this fossilised base section of a limb bone on the north coast
of UK. I think its a smallish femur base although I suppose metartarsal
is also possible. Tried a little research but come up blank. It has one
condyle larger than the other so I suspect its a load bearing bone, ie
land based.  I'm still a newbie so any help would be greatly
appreciated.  Thanks in advance.


fossil-femur1g.jpg fossil-femur1.jpg fossil-femur1a.jpg fossil-femur1c.jpg 

fossil-femur1e.jpg fossil-femur1d.jpg 

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MrPolly
Hi there,
I have to be honest, I don't think that's bone. It has a very bone-like shape, but the material looks more like chert than bone and I can't see any telltale honeycomb anywhere. be interested to see what others think!

Cheers,

Mr P.
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flinter
Hi Mr P,
Thanks for the swift reply, very much appreciated. Your right its not bone, its completely mineralised and is now stone. My wife is an anatomist and osteologist, so I'm confident it was once a bone.

Thanks
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prep01
Hello David, the surface looks a bit like Limonite, a mineral formed by Marcasite reacting over many years in salt water. Is it very heavy for its size?
Colin Huller
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flinter
Hi Colin,
Cant say its any heavier than a normal stone its size would be. Incidentally its size is length 5cm width at top 2.8cm.

thanks
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gigantopithicus
It looks like the key thing would be to see the end that you haven't shown in the photos - that should help with the identification.
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deltapodus
Like GIgantopithecus said, we need to see that broken end. Would also help if you could give a more precise location. HAve to admit, I think it's just one of those flukes you occasionally find, but I'm prepared to be proved wrong. Edited by deltapodus 2015-06-07 21:58:02
Finally found bone[biggrin]
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fossils-uk
Sorry but this is a water worn pebble that mimics the shape of a bone. it is lacking all the other diagnostic features to be bone except the shape. This is commonly know as a pseudo fossil. But I totally understand what you mean thou. But alas it's a rock.
Byron
fossils-uk, whitby
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MrPolly
Hi Flinter,
What I meant was that it's not a bone fossil, it's just chert or something similar. With fossilised bone, you can typically still see the honeycomb even though it's mineralised - it's one of the diagnostic features that Fossils-UK referred to. It's surprising how often these types of stone can be mistaken for fossils, we've all done it at some stage! 



Edited by MrPolly 2015-06-08 16:03:13
Cheers,

Mr P.
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flinter
Thanks to all who have joined this id discussion.

I'm aware of the possibility of pseudo-fossils. However my wife is an osteopath and
studied bone morphology for many years, examined the piece and found so
many diagnostic features that the possibility of this being random in
her opinion would be impossible. It has two condyles, these are the
bulbs on the top of the bone. One of these is larger than the other, a
key feature of a load bearing bone. Their is an epicondylar fossa, the
dip in between the condyles and epicondylar ridges for attachment for muscles. I know stone can mimic all types of shape, but all these features together would be impossible. Of course I'm lucky to have my wife to tell me all this! and its difficult to get all of this clearly into the photos. Have added some more photos if this helps.
[attach:fileid=http://www.thefossilforum.com/uploads/monthly_06_2015/post-16315-0-19947400-1433783335.jpg]
[attach:fileid=http://www.thefossilforum.com/uploads/monthly_06_2015/post-16315-0-39770500-1433783348.jpg][attach:fileid=http://www.thefossilforum.com/uploads/monthly_06_2015/post-16315-0-11431300-1433783406.jpg][attach:fileid=http://www.thefossilforum.com/uploads/monthly_06_2015/post-16315-0-30843300-1433783363.jpg][attach:fileid=http://www.thefossilforum.com/uploads/monthly_06_2015/post-16315-0-21032500-1433783384.jpg]
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DorsetJack
Confess I'm with flinter on this one - no expert by any means, (secondary school biology teacher) but it certainly looks like the knee/elbow end of a humerus or femur, although the short length and the widening at the other end could mark it as a metatarsal of some sort.

It just looks too much like a bone to be a psuedofossil...

Edited by DorsetJack 2015-06-08 18:24:48
The one thing you will get from breaking rocks with a hammer is a lot of broken rocks...
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prep01
Having seen the cross-section it definately is NOT Marcasite or bone. It is a bl***y good pseudofossil though!
Colin Huller
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DorsetJack
Haven't seen cross-section - pics won't come through...
The one thing you will get from breaking rocks with a hammer is a lot of broken rocks...
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Dirty Pete
Maybe revealing any internal structure by sanding/polishing the broken end might help.
Just a thought,
Pete
  
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fossmeister
Hi, I'm certain its a flint but very good pseudofossil. There have been some good ones posted in the past...seem to remember one that looked like a dog!
fossmeister
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flinter

Thanks for all the interest. My wife is still absolutely sure that this
shows too many features to be anything other than bone. Therefore is it
not possible for the medullary cavity and the trabeculae, spongy bone to
be completely mineralised with no structure visible?


IMHO
categorising something based on a lack of one diagnostic feature, while
ignoring 4 or 5 osteological diagnostics doesn't make sense, unless of
course that one feature is absolute.


 


Thanks Flinter

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Vert Finder
Hi Flinter,

Whilst I understand where you're coming from, I too think that this is not bone - fossil or otherwise.
First things first, it contains no honeycomb, as previously discussed, a feature which basically every fossil bone must have, unless there is an anatomical reason why not (for example, bird and pterosaur bones are mostly hollow).
Secondly, you say that it is very heavy given its size. This does not make sense, given that it was found in north England. This is because, most deposits in north England are not of the correct age to have land mammal fossils in them. The ones that are (the Boulder Clay and some of the topsoil) contain Ice Age bones. These are from 10,000 to 100,000 years old. Given their relatively young age, they have not been in the ground long enough to be completely mineralised. Most British Ice Age fossils are semi-mineralised (I think!) so are actually amongst the ligher fossils out there. So, given that yours is very heavy, it must be older than the Ice Age. However, the next youngest deposit in North England is the chalk, and this, aside from being the wrong preservation, is also the wrong age for bones of large mammals.
Given this, I agree that this is just a stone. It looks slightly flintish in the cross-section (flint of course being well-known for tricking people by looking like something that it is not!)
Thanks, VF
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MrPolly
Hi Flinter,
It's not just the lack of one feature, there are a few others too - take a look at the bone posted on this forum to get an idea of what it looks like. Colour and texture are often good indicators. However, it's also an experience thing - I've picked up thousands of pieces of rock while fossiling and this just looks to me like piece of chert or flint. So often these types of rock do looks organic (which may be to do with the way they form) and as I said we've all been fooled at some point by a piece of flint or pyrite! My own bete noire is the worn glass at Church Cliffs in Lyme, so much of it looks like ichthyosaur vertebrae!

Cheers,

Mr P.
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flinter
Hi VF,

Thanks for that info. All adds to my knowledge.
Howver apologies, having re-read my initial post, I realise it should have read, North KENT coast!!
So what about the south?

I didn't say it was heavy for its size, I was asked that question and replied it was no heavier than a stone its size. 

A bone broken at the epiphyseal plate, which runs laterally through the bone, I have been told would fossilise with no sign of trabeculae, spongy bone.

"IMHO
categorising something based on a lack of one diagnostic feature, while
ignoring 4 or 5 osteological diagnostics doesn't make sense, unless of
course that one feature is absolute"

cheers

Flinter





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Kosmoceras

It is without any doubt flint/chert. This formed in the Cretaceous chalk so it is Cretaceous aged; the geology and is not consistent for this to be bone. Sorry.
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gigantopithicus
From the cross section you can say quite comfortably it is definitely not bone - it certainly has the shape of one, but the mineralisation style and the internal structure show it is not a bone.

It is an unfortunate example of a 1000 monkeys and a 1000 type writers - only this time just as many humans with even more flints - when you go through enough stones eventually one will look like something that it's not. 


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Dirty Pete
Maybe Flinter could confirm that it is actually flint/chert/cryptocrystalline silica.
Couldn't it be the external cast of a bone (real or otherwise) shaped void subsequently filled with silica. That
would explain the lack of internal structure....just another thought .
Cheers
Pete
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Koss1959
flinter wrote:
Hi VF,

Thanks for that info. All adds to my knowledge.
Howver apologies, having re-read my initial post, I realise it should have read, North KENT coast!!
So what about the south?

I didn't say it was heavy for its size, I was asked that question and replied it was no heavier than a stone its size.ƒâ€š‚ 

A bone broken at the epiphyseal plate, which runs laterally through the bone, I have been told would fossilise with no sign of trabeculae, spongy bone.

"IMHO
categorising something based on a lack of one diagnostic feature, while
ignoring 4 or 5 osteological diagnostics doesn't make sense, unless of
course that one feature is absolute"

cheers

Flinter







I can beat that. I have a pseudo fossil that looks exactly like an Ichthyosaur jaw section.
Upper and lower jaw, teeth on both sides, all in proportion... Gutted doesn't cut it. There is no bone showing at all though, so it's just a rock.
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fossils-uk
Sadly all the fossil bones I have ever seen (and I do this for a living) always have trabecular bone exposed on the broken ends. Even if completely mineralised the structure is there to see and the cavities inbetween are the bits that are filled in.
I am afraid this is a strong case of pareidolia. And the item is not even an internal cast.
Sorry.
Byron
fossils-uk, whitby
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Rolo

Flinter,
Here is a section through a break in a dinosaur bone.As you can see the structure is preserved.
 
IMG_4198_640x4371.jpg 
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deltapodus
fossils-uk wrote:
Sadly all the fossil bones I have ever seen (and I do this for a living) always have trabecular bone exposed on the broken ends. Even if completely mineralised the structure is there to see and the cavities inbetween are the bits that are filled in.
I am afraid this is a strong case of pareidolia. And the item is not even an internal cast.
Sorry.
Byron


Pareidolia? Now that's a word you don't see everyday - I've just googled for that, and found the word mimetoliths. And I thought they were just called pseudofossils.
Finally found bone[biggrin]
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