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Weird Kentucky Cave Fossil


CaversFossils

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CaversFossils

This fossil(?) was found on the roof of a cave in the Renault or Ste. Genevieve Limestones in Kentucky. Mississipian period. I apologize for no scale. It is about 6 inches long

I talked to some usgs fossil guys but they weren't sure. They thought it could be from an armored fish.

It is unlike any fossil I've ever seen. I originally thought it was just chert, but on closer look, it appeared to have bilateral symmetry. It seems like whatever was in there was replaced by the chert. Although, I'm not really familiar with how fossils form.

 

EDIT: the fossil was very much 3D. The part closest to my finger, facing perpendicular to the wall appears to be be concave. 

Screenshot_20201230-171705_Reddit.jpg

Screenshot_20201230-172307_Photos.jpg

DSC01152-FULL SIZE~2.jpg

Edited by CaversFossils
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I would say some sort of geologic wonder, it looks like there is still more in the rock but wow that is amazing

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I think that's a fossil. My first thought is skull cap, but it's just a first thought.

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22 minutes ago, Rockwood said:

skull cap

 

Nice photos! 

I believe the cave is Mississippian in nature so skull unlikely. I thought he lost his other glove! 

 

Mike

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2 minutes ago, minnbuckeye said:

 

Nice photos! 

I believe the cave is Mississippian in nature so skull unlikely. I thought he lost his other glove! 

 

Mike

That a very good chance :P

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Is it hard like a rock? it folds over a piece on the right and on the bottom right there is a globe bubble thing

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Anyone in the caving group happen to have a UV light on for finding minerals while the picture was being taken?

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CaversFossils

We didn't have a UV light on hand. 

 

Also, ill add that I've never heard of vivianite, so that's interesting.

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4 hours ago, minnbuckeye said:

 

Nice photos! 

I believe the cave is Mississippian in nature so skull unlikely. I thought he lost his other glove! 

 

Mike

Gee. I thought the age of fishes came before that. I'm pretty sure they have skulls, and I think they made it all the way through the carboniferous.

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7 hours ago, Rockwood said:

Gee. I thought the age of fishes came before that. I'm pretty sure they have skulls, and I think they made it all the way through the carboniferous.

 

True, but from my research and hunting, of the local Mississippian fauna, fish are not typical. The local St. Genevieve fauna usually consists of coral, brachiopods, bryzoans, and the like. That's not to say that a fish couldn't be found dead amongst the corals, but it would be a rarer find. 

 

So to help clarify, and agree with,  @minnbuckeye's statement... Fish were definitely alive and well during the Carboniferous (Mississippian), but are not well represented in the local St. Genevieve fauna. Therefore it is unlikely, although not impossible, to be a fish skull. ;) 

 

A geological description for reference...

 

STE. GENEVIEVE LIMESTONE
USGS Unit Info: GEOLEX (id: Ste.Genevieve_3964)
Primary Lithology: Limestone, dolomite, and shale
Description: Limestone, dolomite, and shale: Limestone is light yellowish gray, weathers white to light gray; characteristically oolitic in beds 0.5 to 4.0 feet thick, massive; interbedded with about equal amounts of light-gray to light-brownish-gray sublithographic to medium-grained clastic limestone, locally shaly, cherty or pyritic; weathers to smooth rounded surfaces; one thin bed of limestone breccia or intraformational conglomerate fairly persistent near base, another less conspicuous with minor unconformity near top; one very thinly crossbedded zone of rounded sand-sized grains of detrital limestone in a limestone matrix. Dolomite is yellowish gray, very fine grained, massive; locally calcareous and contains fist-sized vugs filled with crystalline calcite. Silty clay shale is yellowish to greenish gray, locally calcareous. Fossils include Platycrinites sp., Lithostrotion (Siphonodendron) genevievensis Easton, horn corals, brachiopods, gastropods, crinoids, bryozoans, and trilobites. Persistent zone of echinoid spines and plates in oolitic limestone near base. Silicified oolitic limestone occurs in persistent zone about 30 feet above Lost River(?) Chert of Elrod (1899); weathers to pale-yellowish-orange fragments of ellipsoids and individual fossils. Soil cover is commonly as much as 30 feet thick.

 

 

 

Also... To clarify more on Kentucky fish fossils... Fossils of fish have been found in Kentucky. However, the Devonian is more known for having larger bits of armored fish plates. The Pennsylvanian coal fields have yielded boney fish fossils. Other fish bits have been found throughout the various strata, including the Mississippian, but typical fish bits are shark teeth and spines. A large skull plate from the St. Genevieve would be a rare, and in my opinion, a scientifically important find. See link below for further general information.

 

https://www.uky.edu/KGS/fossils/fossil-Pisces.php 

 

 

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Dismissing long odds could be thought of as a bad habit though.

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Looking for over the other areas of the limestone I think I see bilateral symmetry in this small inclusion above the hand.

 

5fecfda744479_DSC01152-FULLSIZE2.jpg.d6377f8c208e3632048199226bc86120.jpg

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CaversFossils

I didn't look at the rest of the ceiling, but i wouldn't be surprised if there were crinoids somewhere up there, although I'm not sure what that mark would be. This is about 10 feet off the floor (I am on top of a feature I had to climb on) so the ceiling has likely never been touched since it broke out years ago.

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CaversFossils

@yardrockpaleo

 

Unfortunately I wouldn't feel comfortable messing with the fossil. Not only would I not want to personally, but it would be illegal under the Cave Protection Act 

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37 minutes ago, CaversFossils said:

Unfortunately I wouldn't feel comfortable messing with the fossil. Not only would I not want to personally, but it would be illegal under the Cave Protection Act 

wise choice

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FossilNerd
8 hours ago, Rockwood said:

Dismissing long odds could be thought of as a bad habit though.

I wholeheartedly agree! Questioning the norm is how science evolves.I try to remember that once upon a time, the norm was to think the world was flat and the earth was the center of the universe. :D 

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I recommend you contact the Cave Research Foundation, Inc. via the internet. They are a respected cave research group and have members researching fossil shark remains in the Mammoth Cave system in Kentucky. They have agreements with several national parks with caves to do mapping and research. They could assist in possible identification. I've been a participant since the early 1960's.

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CaversFossils

I do know some of the CRF (cave research foundation) people. I didn't think to mention it to them. I personally know someone involved with the shark discovery stuff in Mammoth. Ill have to ask them, and I could take them to it pretty easily!

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OK! Good to know you are tied into serious caving and not doing "spelunking" :tiphat: Anyway, the CRF would be a great resource for your question.

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