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GeschWhat posted a topic in Fossil IDI was out hunting near Spring Valley, Minnesota with @Bev and @minnbuckeye the last couple of days. As always, I was looking for coprolites. Mike came across this first piece, sitting loose in a piece of weathered matrix. While we were splitting rocks, we found a virgin layer of the source matrix. When we got back to Bev's fossil barn (everyone should have one), I took a peak under the microscope at two of the loose, irregular objects but couldn't really see much because of the powdery iron oxide coating. When I lightly rinsed them, they revealed these microscopic (calcareous) jack-shaped objects. Similar inclusions were in both objects loose objects. You can see from the broken spine on the inclusion in the lower right that they are hollow. In the other loose piece and those still embedded in the matrix, I can also see random straw-like spines of the same material. I'm not sure if these are coprolites, algal masses or something else. I have seen coprolites covered in powdery iron oxide before. Eventually I would like to free more of these from the matrix so that I can sacrifice one to get a look at the interior. Can anyone identify the little jack-shaped inclusions? The spines may have been quite a bit longer. The only things I can think of are forams or perhaps diatoms. Bev and Mike - What was the name of that cliff again? Decorah Shale? @Carl