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Grandson found this in an outcrop of immature sandstone in the proximal fluvial facies of the Paleocene Fort Union Formation in Park County, Montana.  My current guess, based on the age of the outcrop and the depositional paleo-environment, is that it is a fossil plant, although it doesn't look much like one. 

fossil.jpg

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Yeah.  I was kinda thinking the same thing too.  But in an upstream fluvial environment?  Are bryozoans tough enough to endure in that kind of energy? 

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40 minutes ago, whitmanrr said:

Yeah.  I was kinda thinking the same thing too.  But in an upstream fluvial environment?  Are bryozoans tough enough to endure in that kind of energy? 

Sometimes there are small intervals of shallowing upward and deepening cycles to allow for the right conditions for bryozoans to extend their range. Some of them can be fairly resilient; I’ve seen them in high energy layers with toppled and abraded corals.

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  • 2 weeks later...

After some input from an academic, I'm pretty confident this is not bryozoa; the pits are too large.  I haven't exhausted all resources.  If I get a positive ID, I will post it her. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

How about a graptolite? I just saw a picture of Araneograptus that at least slightly reminded me of this thread.

Best regards,

J

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Good thinking.  There certainly are fresh water sponges, but I know next to nothing about them.  Is Cliona an example?  Was the genus extant in the Paleocene?  Are the pits too big for a sponge?  If I had to bet, I'd go with a plant fragment in this paleo-environment.  But you never know.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cliona

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clionaidae

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demosponge

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