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Noobie Exploring Micro Fossils on Matrix

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I hesitate to post this because I know next to nothing and don't know if it is worth posting, but I picked up what I would call a conglomerate one day on a Florida beach near Jensen Florida primarily because of a fossil tooth that was in the conglomerate.  I could see a few other bits of bone as well.   But I got to looking at the conglomerate with my microscope and saw what I thought were some nice small but interesting things.  I suspect that the conglomerate is not very old and don't think there is likely anything much older than the tooth in the conglomerate except possibly some small shells, which I tried to photograph.  I was thinking of dissolving this conglomerate but didn't want to destroy the shells, some of which were crystalized.  I decided to try dissolving a smaller piece that I had which showed only what looked like bits of bone and had few if any shells.


Here is the kind of thing that I saw in the big conglomerate that I've not decided if I would try to dissolve.  What do you think?  Does it look like anything old or interesting might be in this clump or do you think I would more likely to destroy some of the nicer things (if you think there might be any at all) by dissolving this clump?  


I'll post photos of some of the things that stuck out to me even though most were .1 cm or less.  A few were slightly larger.  And a a few a lot smaller. 


First the conglomerate showing the brown tooth, which is about .75 inches square.


Then some of the much smaller things I thought were nice.  


The last is my favorite.  Appears to be maybe a piece of coral or stem.  What do you think?  


Thanks to all.


Sorry if this is just waste of space.












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Not a waste of space at all. Micro-fossils are often overlooked with things like megalodon teeth taking a large amount of the spotlight when it comes to Florida fossils.


There are some really nice looking tiny mollusks visible in the matrix. Trying to break down the matrix chemically with some strength of acid would likely be detrimental to the rather delicate shells. I've heard of potassium hydroxide flakes being used to soften shale matrix but I don't know that it would have any great affect on this calcareous Florida conglomerate.


The little broken piece in the last photo is more likely something along the lines of a small fish bone than an elongate coral calyx since it has none of the diagnostic details of one. I'd be really interested in seeing if you can mechanically free up the little black "tooth" in the second photo. Looks like the surrounding matrix is rather grainy and some poking around with fine tools might dislodge enough of the surrounding material to allow it to be pulled free without damage. Curious as to what it might be since it is not ringing any bells at the moment.


Welcome to the world of micro-fossils--just as addicting as "macro" fossils and a lot easier to store. ;)






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Fossils are never a waste of space, especially here in the Forum! Welcome and yah..I too am hooked on the Micro stuff!  It's all good! 

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There are indeed a good number of folks on TFF that are interested in micro-fossils.  There is a lot of science to be discovered in the micro world.  Welcome to a group of like-minded folks.

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I took another small sample piece of rock with a few obvious fossil bones, including one nice vert showing and tried to dissolve the rock to see what else might be in it.  I learned that the rock is very hard and if I used enough acid to remove the rock, I also destroyed some of the fossils, so then I tried using a dremmel bit to remove rock around fossils, but the rock was so hard I made almost no progress except for destroying the bit.


I therefore decided to do simply scan the surface of the larger conglomerate with the embedded tooth that I originally showed.  Micro surface scanning turned out to be enjoyable.


It somehow reminded me of the Little Prince walking around exploring a little planet.    Here are some of the sights I saw.   First one of the most interesting.  I tried to get it at different angles, which is difficult since it doesn't stick out much from the conglomerate.


This item measures about 1 by 1.5 mm.




Now another angle.




Broken pieces of bone were common sights.  It is much larger than the above object.




And here is an indentation that looks like it was made by a long thin strand of something.  It measures about 1.5 mm across.




To sum it up, I learned the difficulty and danger or trying to remove small fossils from rock and discovered the entertainment of what I will call micro sufrace scanning.  Now to find some nice new clumps.   Just wish I could see what is inside without breaking it down.



A world in a grain of sand... and eternity in an hour.   William Blake.





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