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The community I live in was once a farmstead in Rowan County, North Carolina. I believe a section of my yard was once a creek bed. The other day I found one of my dogs playing with this item and after spending hours trying to find anything that looked remotely like this, I’ve come up empty and decided to ask you all.  The object is hard, like rock, does not rattle, it’s approximately 1.75 x .75 inches. It’s coloring is almost flesh tone, with darker gray areas and yellowish parts inside the more damaged area. The space at first glance looking fetus like, and there seems to be a little wrinkled piece that looks tail or appendage like. I thought maybe a petrified seed or nut but so far nothing I’ve looked at fits. What do you think?

 

Thanks, J

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Quite provocative of a shape and I do see the resemblance to some sort of alien fetus worthy of a movie special effects crew but I'm thinking some Mother Nature trickeration is what's going on here. You can search the internet for fossils that resemble this but I'm betting that this is just a really oddly shaped result of natural forces and erosion and has no particular biological origin. It's definitely odd looking and I'm guessing that 9 of 10 of our members would have bent over to pick this up for a closer inspection. Still a cool looking rock and a wonder to imagine what could have resulted in such a form but shows no signs of being a fossil--just a really wildly shaped 'faker'. ;)

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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2 minutes ago, daves64 said:

Cetacean ear bone maybe? :headscratch:

Doesn't look like any petrosals I've ever seen. Seems to have a bit of a shine and I'm expecting that in-hand observation would find that it is highly silicified and glassy. Wonder if this could be some sort of flow-stone. Are there any karstic (limestone cave) systems anywhere nearby?

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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Don’t know what I am seeing and most does not look fossil like except for a piece see in the first photo in the upper right side where there is a tubular appearing structure with a series  of concentric lines. 

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Thecosmilia Trichitoma

My first instinct was oyster, but I think I agree with @digiton this one. Still, a very unique piece!

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Rowan County is igneous and metamorphic rocks. Shouldn’t be any fossils found there. This could be something man made, possibly some slag.

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I can see it as a glowing blob.

I've welded cast iron. And I'm not a particularly talented welder. :)

Edited by Rockwood
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9 hours ago, val horn said:

Don’t know what I am seeing and most does not look fossil like except for a piece see in the first photo in the upper right side where there is a tubular appearing structure with a series  of concentric lines.

Yup. That was the first part that my eye was drawn to. Repeating lines are a big signal that you could be looking at a fossil (especially if you are in an area that has trilobites). ;) I think those appear to be more like "wrinkles" than any biological structure though.

 

7 hours ago, Norki said:

Tilly bone?

The cranial Tilly Bones do have this sort of "cashew" curved shape but for all their weirdness they are usually quite bilaterally symmetrical. See here for a reference:

 

http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/88108-fla-creek-find/&do=findComment&comment=958913

 

Still in the geological oddity camp. Given the geology for the county in which it was found that seems to support this conclusion.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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4 hours ago, Rockwood said:

I can see it as a glowing blob.

I've welded cast iron. And I'm not a particularly talented welder. :)

That's an interesting observation. I'm not a familiar at all with welding. I wonder, isn't the byproduct of welding, those glowing blobs, metal? This object isn't metal. :ironic:

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1 hour ago, digit said:

Yup. That was the first part that my eye was drawn to. Repeating lines are a big signal that you could be looking at a fossil (especially if you are in an area that has trilobites). ;) I think those appear to be more like "wrinkles" than any biological structure though.

 

The cranial Tilly Bones do have this sort of "cashew" curved shape but for all their weirdness they are usually quite bilaterally symmetrical. See here for a reference:

 

http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/88108-fla-creek-find/&do=findComment&comment=958913

 

Still in the geological oddity camp. Given the geology for the county in which it was found that seems to support this conclusion.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

 

I hadn't thought of a Tilly bone and would have thought this was rather large for that kind of bone. Wow! In your example all of the bones seem to be a dark color and my object is not.  My area is strewn with pieces of quarts, this area is packed geologically speaking all though the biggest area is a few miles away. The area here has been farm land for hundreds of years up until the middle part of the last century. Native Americans were settled here as well. 

 

What kind of rock gives a flesh like translucent color? 

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5 hours ago, Al Dente said:

Rowan County is igneous and metamorphic rocks. Shouldn’t be any fossils found there. This could be something man made, possibly some slag.

 

If it were slag wouldn't it be metal based?

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12 hours ago, digit said:

Quite provocative of a shape and I do see the resemblance to some sort of alien fetus worthy of a movie special effects crew but I'm thinking some Mother Nature trickeration is what's going on here. You can search the internet for fossils that resemble this but I'm betting that this is just a really oddly shaped result of natural forces and erosion and has no particular biological origin. It's definitely odd looking and I'm guessing that 9 of 10 of our members would have bent over to pick this up for a closer inspection. Still a cool looking rock and a wonder to imagine what could have resulted in such a form but shows no signs of being a fossil--just a really wildly shaped 'faker'. ;)

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

It is a wild shape indeed. Faker or not, would it be okay to wash it off and see if anything is revealed ? 

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Most certainly! It doesn't look like there is too much loose material on this but give it a good cleaning to reveal more of the interesting structure. It's difficult to get a good feel for objects solely from online photos but I'd be curious if it is translucent or not. You could try holding it to the sun or putting a light behind it and see if any glow shines through. It looks like it has a high silica content and appears shiny and glassy so I'm guessing you might be able to see some light through it if only around the edges. That will give some sort of an idea of the composition but still not much help as to how this fanciful shape was created. Most fossil hunters I know have in their collection some non-fossils that either closely mimic known fossil shapes or just really odd rocks that appeal to them. This oddity may still find a happy place on your display shelf or desk drawing your eye to the wild shape.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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slag does not have to be metal,  the impurities in the molten metal can be separated from the metal and are often whitish and frothy.  

there are many stones that are translucent-- quartz and agate are the first that occur to me.    I wash most of the fossils that I find (and a number of the rocks that I have picked up that on closer look are probably not fossils. I dont mind bring home nonfossils, atleast compared to how I feel when I realize that I ignored something important.  I still kick myself when i think about the number of pieces of fossil mammoth skull that i left on the side of the peace river.    

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I am in agreement with the others. This is an interesting geologic, I'm going to guess metamorphic, but the usual Mohs tests and such would be needed to make sure. I'm just guessing here, but this may be a very unique specimen of a pseudo-organic intrusion Catlinite, also called pipestone. (2.5 -3 ish Mohs)

 

I would collect this one. I have a number of boxes labeled "cool looking rocks" some natural, some industrial waste.

 

Details on the Geology of the area:

https://mrdata.usgs.gov/geology/state/fips-unit.php?code=f37159

 

 

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3 hours ago, digit said:

Most certainly! It doesn't look like there is too much loose material on this but give it a good cleaning to reveal more of the interesting structure. It's difficult to get a good feel for objects solely from online photos but I'd be curious if it is translucent or not. You could try holding it to the sun or putting a light behind it and see if any glow shines through. It looks like it has a high silica content and appears shiny and glassy so I'm guessing you might be able to see some light through it if only around the edges. That will give some sort of an idea of the composition but still not much help as to how this fanciful shape was created. Most fossil hunters I know have in their collection some non-fossils that either closely mimic known fossil shapes or just really odd rocks that appeal to them. This oddity may still find a happy place on your display shelf or desk drawing your eye to the wild shape.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

Sent a photo to the local museum and they have suggested a fossilized fungus. They’re asking me to saw it open to see what that might look like. I’m not sure exactly how I should go about this. 

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Sounds like a bit of a leap. Most fungal fossils tend to be faint traces of mycelium threads that have been chemically imprinted in sedimentary rocks. We occasionally see "fossilized mushrooms" which invariably turn out to be mushroom shaped rocks of a purely geologic origin.

 

Sawing open a rock such as yours generally requires special gear. You could probably slice it perpendicular to the longest side by laying it on a tile saw and carefully slicing through it. To get a slice through the widest part of this rock would probably take a lapidary rock saw which generally has the ability to clamp in fossils to hold them steady for the cut. Don't see what great insight slicing it open will reveal but it might look pretty cool inside (or not).

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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How heavy is this? I was thinking fungus as well, except I was thinking modern. There are some species of fungi that grow on trees that are really hard and can have really strange shapes. Although very hard, they would feel lighter than most rocks. 

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56 minutes ago, GeschWhat said:

How heavy is this? I was thinking fungus as well, except I was thinking modern. There are some species of fungi that grow on trees that are really hard and can have really strange shapes. Although very hard, they would feel lighter than most rocks. 

It is hard but not heavy at all. Or should I say it does not have the balance and weightiness of a rock. 

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Ran across these images of hardened sap and resin and couldn't help seeing some similarities so thought I'd throw them in the mix. Would account for weight anyway.

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