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Shellseeker

Rock ...or Bulla

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Shellseeker

Chances to get out hunting have disappeared.  A lot of rain with Hurricane Theta and then some tropical storms. There is a lot of activity late in the season which means higher faster water in rivers and creeks.

So I look back on recent curiosities. Hunting 10 days ago, I pick up a curious rock that seemed to have texture,  broken at one end. It was white inside.

 

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At a distance of 10 feet and 2 hours digging,  I found the smaller end.  That might be a shovel mark, and for a second I thought I might have broken it, but 10 feet apart,   no way.  I really do not like breaking fossils. :angry:  .:DOH:

Now it looks like a water worn whale bulla with a rock boring mollusk hole at one end.

 

But what about that white inside?  What is it?  How did it form?

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A couple of more photos...  So, we might say that the white was sand (silica) that filled the bulla, and underwent a "transformation".  Note that in the last photo , the white seems to merge with the fossilized bone...  Curiouser and curiouser...

I certainly look for insight from those who have seen this previously.   

Whalerock1.JPG.ce7a29f39d437ea73f3d349752c47566.JPGWhalerock2.JPG.431df6e3c4124bbbaf6acda15bfd73a9.JPGWhalerock3.JPG.89dd780e80c474b78425f9a75adacc1f.JPG

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Tidgy's Dad

Phosphatic nodules / concretions sometimes have white interiors like that.

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Mahnmut

Hmm, I think it looks like a bulla.

Maybe whatever stains these fossils dark  did not penetrate all through?

Best Regards,

J

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Rockwood
2 hours ago, Shellseeker said:

, I pick up a curious rock that seemed to have texture

Can you follow the texture in a way that seems to eliminate any possibility that it's a dugong rib fragment ?

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Shellseeker
2 hours ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

Phosphatic nodules / concretions sometimes have white interiors like that.

 

Agree. I also have seen multi_colored rocks/nodules/concretions, but then we have to first agree that it is a rock, not a fossil.

 

2 hours ago, Mahnmut said:

Hmm, I think it looks like a bulla.

Maybe whatever stains these fossils dark  did not penetrate all through?

Best Regards,

J

 

Me also, the staining of the fossils occurs because the Peace River is a black water river in the middle of a phosphate mining area.

Quote

Color
Fossilized megalodon teeth can be almost any color since they take on the color of the sediments in which they are deposited. Most commercially available teeth are dark gray, black, or brown in color. This is because they come from similar areas; tidal rivers of the south east United States. These rivers tend to be rich in phosphates that color the fossils

. Your idea seems to have some probability of being correct.  Thanks

 

2 hours ago, grandpa said:

Well,  I just licked it and it did not taste like either dark or white chocolate!!!  Should I bite into it?:shakehead:

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Shellseeker
48 minutes ago, Rockwood said:

Can you follow the texture in a way that seems to eliminate any possibility that it's a dugong rib fragment ?

No,  there is lots of dugong rib where ever I hunt..  but it still begs the question... how does the center of the fossil bone get to be white?

However there are some distinctive features of whale bullas:  This from a TFF Gallary. Valley on one side,  Ridge on the other and tapering bulb.

BullaMarked.JPG.98340993432184174e2c052a4efd6f74.JPG

In my 1st 2 photos, my fossil seems to have most of these characteristics. So probability is some where like 60-40, 70-30 for whale over dugong.

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Rockwood
33 minutes ago, Shellseeker said:

So probability is some where like 60-40, 70-30 for whale over dugong.

Density is a favored trait in cetacean ear bones because of it's function in hearing underwater. I agree that a lighter core the shape of a bulla randomly occurring in a rib is highly unlikely.

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hemipristis

Agree with bulla.  Resembles the beach finds in NC & SC, and Greens Mill Run.

 

Looks like you found one of the ones with the creamy peppermint center! :thumbsu:

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Rockwood

So life is like a box of chocolates. :)

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Plantguy

Hey Jack, interesting find and questions! It does also look more bulla like to me with the shape and the nature of the fractures but I suppose it could still be a nodule of some sort without being able to section it/look at it under a scope.

 

I was actually looking at this post last night and trying to find a couple of similar bulla broken examples that I have that were lighter colored inside like yours and some I might break open further--didnt find em...As others had mentioned I thought the varying coloration was due to preservation/degree of burial/phosphatic permeation/exposure over time... 

 

I did find this bone example and broke it open just to see what its interior looked like and thought Id add it here for fun......Most are very dense/solid from around here and show that conchoidal fracture pattern and are solid black thru and thru. If I get some time later I might crack a few more open to see what their interior holds. In at least this one there is a black exterior/rind that moves into a more chocolate brown coloration and ultimately a very friable lighter colored interior. 

 

5fb264212dc3e_Fracturedboneshowinginteriorcolorvariations.thumb.jpg.f949e7eab966f013a34e85556c796e21.jpg

 

Regards, Chris 

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Shellseeker
18 hours ago, hemipristis said:

Agree with bulla.  Resembles the beach finds in NC & SC, and Greens Mill Run.

 

Looks like you found one of the ones with the creamy peppermint center! :thumbsu:

 

18 hours ago, Rockwood said:

So life is like a box of chocolates. :)

 

Yes.  Yes.  I do have a sweet tooth!!!!

 

15 hours ago, Plantguy said:

Hey Jack, interesting find and questions! It does also look more bulla like to me with the shape and the nature of the fractures but I suppose it could still be a nodule of some sort without being able to section it/look at it under a scope.

 

I was actually looking at this post last night and trying to find a couple of similar bulla broken examples that I have that were lighter colored inside like yours and some I might break open further--didnt find em...As others had mentioned I thought the varying coloration was due to preservation/degree of burial/phosphatic permeation/exposure over time... 

 

I did find this bone example and broke it open just to see what its interior looked like and thought Id add it here for fun......Most are very dense/solid from around here and show that conchoidal fracture pattern and are solid black thru and thru. If I get some time later I might crack a few more open to see what their interior holds. In at least this one there is a black exterior/rind that moves into a more chocolate brown coloration and ultimately a very friable lighter colored interior.

 

Regards, Chris 

 

Chris,

I talked to Steve (used to be drag line operator in phosphate mines) who stated that many bone fossils were initially white, either because bone is white naturally OR their original fossilization was white.   !!!  Then it is easy to imagine a concept of additional fossilization or dark staining that may at times be incomplete. 

I believe that I have learned something that I did not previously know..... and that's a good thing

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