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Cortinarius

Hello!
 

I wonder if anyone would be kind enough to give me an opinion about this… It struck me as looking like fossilised driftwood? I’ll be totally honest, just because it looked so much like a modern piece of driftwood at the ends. The striations seemed weird for rock normal banding, layering. Also, there seems to be faded bands running at right angles to the striations on a couple of faces - which again seemed a wood-like feature? I’m very happy to be wrong though! 
 

I was lucky, the tide was just going out when I spotted it still wet - it’s fairly unremarkable dry. 
 

It’s from the coast in Fife, Scotland. The rocks in this spot are sandstone / mudstone / siltstone, from fluvial, palustrine and shallow-marine environment, from the Carboniferous. 
 

Thanks so much for your time and thoughts! 

 

 

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This is a tough one. I'm inclined to think this is somewhat decomposed wood. 

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I think the exposed terminal 'points' or 'cones' are suggestive of geologic crystal matrix rather than parallel lines more typical of wood cells.

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Cortinarius
17 hours ago, Rockwood said:

This is a tough one. I'm inclined to think this is somewhat decomposed wood. 


Thank you so much for your thoughts and help. Like punk wood…? Yes, I see what you mean. And rotting wood would explain how any bark would’ve separated away. Though it’s rather regular in shape and squared off. 

 

I felt very confused as, the textures are so familiar to me as old, weathered wood (I’ve worked a lot with driftwood as an artist)… but looking like a thing isnt the same as being a thing, and I just don’t understand enough about the fossilisation process of wood, and what features would be likely to remain. Or what wood would’ve been growing and it’s physical characteristics. 
 

Though it looks like the general consensus below is for ‘just a rock’. 
 

 

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Cortinarius
16 hours ago, JohnJ said:

I think the exposed terminal 'points' or 'cones' are suggestive of geologic crystal matrix rather than parallel lines more typical of wood cells.


Thanks so much for taking the time to reply and help. It’s much appreciated. 
 

I’m with you… thank you. In my head I was interpreting these as the weathering patterns you get on old wood, at the ends of the vertical grain. 

 

Im so sorry to ask more questions, but would you be able to give me a pointer as to what crystal structure or type rock you had in mind, so that I could go away and educate myself a little more? (apologies for the slightly garbled way of asking, I live with a brain injury I’m struggling to reach for the right words) 
 

(I’ve just thought, too late, I could have put it under my handheld microscope and that might have given some extra information? I’ve just acquired a proper, more powerful microscope but I’m clueless about using it on rocks - it’s spec’d for biological stuff, and it doesn’t have a moving stage to fit anything 3D in). 
 

Thank you so much for your help! 

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I can't find the piece I was thinking of as reference. It was identified by the shop owner at a spot where petrified wood is extremely common. Unless this was found in a similar location you should go with the consensus.

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I think it's mineralogical, maybe calcite (you could try a hardness test). I don't think there's anything plant based from around there would fossilise like that . 

I've seen bands of similar calcite in Carboniferous limestones in northern England that are associated with stylolites.

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Cortinarius
1 minute ago, Rockwood said:

I can't find the piece I was thinking of as reference. It was identified by the shop owner at a spot where petrified wood is extremely common. Unless this was found in a similar location you should go with the consensus.


Oh that’s so kind of you to look, thank you. 
 

The area is well known for lycopod fossils. 

 

I’ve searched museum collections, social media, etc and I can’t find any records from this area of quite like the piece I posted though. 

 

I did find a nice stigmaria fossil a few hundred meters further along the coast (hope I’ve got that ID right).  
 

We found some nice standing trunks too - took us two low tides for us to locate them, but was amazing to see them. 
 


 


 

 

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I'm afraid this only lessens the odds of it being wood by restricting the number of plants that could even potentially preserve this way.

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Cortinarius
29 minutes ago, TqB said:

I think it's mineralogical, maybe calcite (you could try a hardness test). I don't think there's anything plant based from around there would fossilise like that . 

I've seen bands of similar calcite in Carboniferous limestones in northern England that are associated with stylolites.


Ahh thank you so much! I just looked at images of stylolites and I see what you mean, those tooth-like patterns. I’ve just double checked BGS Viewer, and there are several small limestone areas in amongst all the sandstone / siltstone right around the find spot. I’ll do a vinegar test and see if I can get a reaction out of it (I did do a hardness test but I can’t find my note), but hat seems a lovely neat solution - thanks *so much* for your help! I’ve definitely learned lots today! 

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Cortinarius
7 minutes ago, Rockwood said:

I'm afraid this only lessens the odds of it being wood by restricting the number of plants that could even potentially preserve this way.


Oh no that’s fine - I wasn’t set on an outcome, only perplexed by an unsolved mystery! 
 

@TqB has suggested what seems like a nice, neat answer. 
 

I'm just very grateful for all the patient help from everyone! Thank you so much! 

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3 hours ago, Cortinarius said:

Im so sorry to ask more questions, but would you be able to give me a pointer as to what crystal structure or type rock you had in mind, so that I could go away and educate myself a little more?

 

As Tarquin suggested, I would look at calcite based rocks.  

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Cortinarius

 

1 hour ago, JohnJ said:

 

As Tarquin suggested, I would look at calcite based rocks.  


Thank you very much for your help. 

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