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Does anyone know what this is? The picture is taken in Northern Oman mountains (UAE). A whole layer >50 cm thick is loaded with this organisms, with sizes of individuals from a few cm to >15 cm. The outcroping formation is Simsima, the age of the formation is Upper Cretaceous.

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The coin is ~1.7 cm in diameter.

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I have seen fossil sponges look a bit like that, but I am not sure.

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They remind me of feeding probes but they don't look as inflated as the ones around here..

This one is older being Pennsylvanian.. I think they look quite a bit alike.. See what you

think..

Please ignore the ring, I didn't want to take a new image..

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Looks similar, but they are more irregular. Agree about the feeding probes.

But the ones i posted are more regular and the small individual organisms are almost the exact copies of the big ones. And if you look closer there is texture between the "fingers".

Perhaps it's worth mentioning that Rudists are abundant in the outcrop (not in that particular bed though).

Edited by Solo
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I agree that the texture between the "fingers" suggests a body fossil. They remind me a bit of crinoid plates. Is there any evidence of ossicles in the formation ?

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Not sure about the ossicles, there is a possibility that there are some but misidentified by us as rudist "parts".

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I suggest we are looking at branching invertebrate burrows preserved as natural casts.

These burrows are what most ichnologists would call Thalassinoides, trace fossils that

are normally associated with crustacean tracemakers.

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squalicorax

The texture looks like mud cracks or something similar which would make sense for a trace.

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there seems to be alot of structure between the "fingers"

post-4577-0-16748700-1333548924_thumb.jpg

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This is a difficult specimen to interpret, with the gross forms being so suggestive; let's look at details.

There appears to be a well-defined boundary between the interlocking dark and light "fingers", and it appears to be of different material than either, almost shelly. What is this material? To which part does it belong (dark or light)? What would explain these volutes, if it is shell? The answers may be under our noses, but my brain is getting little traction.

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This is a difficult specimen to interpret, with the gross forms being so suggestive; let's look at details.

There appears to be a well-defined boundary between the interlocking dark and light "fingers", and it appears to be of different material than either, almost shelly. What is this material? To which part does it belong (dark or light)? What would explain these volutes, if it is shell? The answers may be under our noses, but my brain is getting little traction.

There is indeed a very well defined boundary between the white (I think it is calcite, the formation is mainly carbonates) and dark outer parts (silicified?), and there is also a boundary (not very sharp though) between the rock of the bed and the fossil area.

It can be a cast but I think for burrows they are very isolated from each other and very regular (the ones we have seen had 4 to 6 "fingers" only).

I'm planning to go there again and get more pics.

Edited by Solo
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I agree with Thomas that it might be a sponge preserved as a 'slice' or longitudinal cross-section. This morphology is consistent with any number of forms with radially arranged blade-like expansions emanating from a funnel edge (central cone).

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Since there are many of these in that exposure, try to photograph as many different aspects as you can. :)

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Crinoid Queen

Spong ontop of some type of blastoid or cystoid?

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Kokopelli head! Sorry, couldn't resist.

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If you find one with the middle "finger" extended, you might want to back away, as it could be a sign.

Brent Ashcraft

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  • 1 month later...
Rocks Anne

I discovered a "hand-like" image today (though it looks more like a 6-toed animal footprint!). It's on an ammonite from Texas:

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Edited by Rocks Anne
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Hi,

Rocks Anne, this drawing looking like a hand is in reality a part of the ammonite sutures. On better preserved specimens, we can be lucky to distinguish better these sutures.

Coco

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ancient aliens! :rofl:

LOL @ Jesse, I was sooooo going to post the same thing but you beat me to it :)
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Here's a LINK to a bunch of pictures that will illustrate the ID.

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