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hitekmastr

St. Clair Bubbles And Fern Seeds While Searching For Insects

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hitekmastr

St. Clair Fossils - What are these Bubbles?

Nan and I visited Deer Lake on Aug. 30 and squeezed in a couple of hours at the end of the day to visit the fern site at St. Clair - we looked mostly for insects or insect traces, and fern seeds. Also we wanted to pick up a nice specimen for one of my colleagues. Here are our finds - maybe someone can explain what the "bubbles" are in these fossils:

Carboniferous Bubbles/Bumps:

post-8709-0-47953400-1378137937_thumb.jpg post-8709-0-44749200-1378137939_thumb.jpg post-8709-0-87152800-1378137940_thumb.jpg

Here are some closeups showing the "bumps or bubbles":

post-8709-0-42724500-1378137973_thumb.jpg post-8709-0-15370900-1378137975_thumb.jpg post-8709-0-75906300-1378137976_thumb.jpg

Almond Shaped Fossil with Small Bumps:

This almond shaped fossil shows bumps on the surface - it is about 2 cm long:

post-8709-0-40265800-1378138318_thumb.jpg post-8709-0-15706000-1378138317_thumb.jpg

This is the most intriguing fossil of all - also has these peculiar bumps:

post-8709-0-62397300-1378138619_thumb.jpg post-8709-0-91669900-1378138620_thumb.jpg

Thanks in advance for helping to identify and explain these finds.

Edited by hitekmastr

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Plantguy

I dont have any good answers..just some speculation.

I think I've seen the first pattern/texture before but never asked specifically what it was....was just assuming it was some bad decortation of the sigillaria bark/leaf scars but it sure doesnt look consistent does it.

As for the last 4 photos I was wondering if what you are looking might be some mineralization that has formed beneath the objects maybe pyrite? I cant

really see the details in those photos so I throw out that as a guess.

Of those 4 the last two pictures are the most intrigueing to me...Not sure its possible but I would love to see a closeup to see if perhaps its ornamentation on some type of seed/plant frutification.

Thanks for showing us....waiting to see what others think...

Regards, Chris

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hitekmastr

Here are better closeups of the orange colored "almond shaped" fossil:




post-8709-0-43300100-1378164730_thumb.jpg post-8709-0-16833800-1378164732_thumb.jpg post-8709-0-54546400-1378164733_thumb.jpg



post-8709-0-22600000-1378164735_thumb.jpg post-8709-0-40613500-1378164737_thumb.jpg

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hitekmastr

Here are more closeups of the grey almond shaped fossil:



What are the bumps on the surface? Any ideas what kind of fern seed this might be?



post-8709-0-82122100-1378169090_thumb.jpg post-8709-0-53340700-1378169092_thumb.jpg



post-8709-0-69739800-1378169094_thumb.jpg post-8709-0-51458400-1378169096_thumb.jpg



post-8709-0-73648400-1378169099_thumb.jpg post-8709-0-82402900-1378169101_thumb.jpg

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John K

my first thought was insect galls, but they look to be too random

could they be pathological in origin?

modern leaf virus's/rusts:

Melicope%20rust%20leaf%20bumps.JPG

mapleafg.jpg

Edited by John K

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Auspex

The 'usual' small surface anomalies on such vegetation are microconchs, but these aren't them...very interesting!

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hitekmastr

Our goal for this trip was to scout around for some insects or insect traces - it would be very cool if we found some micro versions of that, since this was our intent. Nan and I believe that wherever there are massive aggregations of plant and tree matter, there should logically be at least some insects or traces. This very short 2 hour trip was an attempt to test our premise.

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Plantguy

Our goal for this trip was to scout around for some insects or insect traces - it would be very cool if we found some micro versions of that, since this was our intent. Nan and I believe that wherever there are massive aggregations of plant and tree matter, there should logically be at least some insects or traces. This very short 2 hour trip was an attempt to test our premise.

Thanks for the additional pictures! I'm still puzzled about those raised areas. To me they look like they have almost an angular, mineral like facet to the sides...hmmm. I dont know seeds much...hoping someone else chimes in....lots of expertise out there... if not, I'll dig further...

Regards, Chris

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fossilcrazy

I have seen what you are referring to. I haven't been able to make a good determination as to what the raised bumps could be.

This picture shows a log on the far right just covered with those bumps. I may need to go back and closeup the surface, because they aren't readily visible in this pic.

post-296-0-41121700-1378266926_thumb.jpg

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hitekmastr

A few people have suggested these might be "galls" formed by insects but what kind of insects is the question.

Edited by hitekmastr

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Terry Dactyll

I've cast my eye over many a carboniferous shale specimen I to have seen these bumps... what do you mean by gall's?...The plants reaction to a sap sucker?

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Auspex

... what do you mean by gall's?...The plants reaction to a sap sucker?

Yes, and egg-laying.

The following was taken from this web page: LINK (scroll down to Invertebrates on Land).

"Galls are excessive growths on stems, leaves, cones, and flowers caused by insect feeding or egg laying. The earliest fossil galls are found on the petioles of Psaronius tree ferns of the Late Carboniferous."

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hitekmastr

Here's another definition of plant galls from Wikipedia:

Plant galls are abnormal outgrowths of plant tissues and can be caused by various parasites, from fungi and bacteria, to insects and mites. Plant galls are often highly organized structures and because of this the cause of the gall can often be determined without the actual agent being identified. This applies particularly to some insect and mite plant galls.

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hitekmastr

I wonder if a cross section of one of the galls would show anything.

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Plantguy

I wonder if a cross section of one of the galls would show anything.

Hi Hitekmastr, I'm not sure about the gall idea but I guess its a possibility. I have reached out for some help and got some initial feedback to share. How about having someone look at them under some scopes and possibly get more certainty??---I've got an offer from someone at PA Dept of Consv and Nat Resources. Sending you a PM to discuss possible next steps. Regards, Chris

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Terry Dactyll

Ok thanks for the explanations....I once posted a fossil insect wing that we got ID'd from a palaeodictyopteroid which was a sap sucker which could of been responsible for galls forming...Here's the link....

http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/19430-insect-wing/?hl=%20carboniferous%20%20insect%20%20wing

I made an observation in the field on a lumpy shale bark specimen that it appeared that very small nodules under the surface or possibly the sediment laid down had contained some larger granules....

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hitekmastr

Thanks to some great groundwork by Plantguy, I'm sending our finds to a geologist who has offered to put these under a scope and do some analysis - he may be able to shed more light on these specimens and others we recently collected from St. Clair. Will share results in the future. Should be interesting!

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Terry Dactyll

I look forward to the observations... I re read my input and it didnt make sense although I was rushing and interrupted by the phone at the time...Heres another go...

I made an observation in the field on a lumpy shale bark specimen that it appeared that very small nodules had formed under the surface of the bark or possibly the sediment laid down had contained some larger granules which when compacted had created a lumpy structure resisting compaction during the fossilisation process....I suppose the pattern has to be taken into account to... some of the leaf ferns produce seeds on the leafs but I'm still thinking 'galls'...

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Auspex

I think that bumps on decorticated trunks are less likely to be insect related, and could be normal structure. The irregularly patterned bumps on leaves, however, do suggest galls.

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hitekmastr

I look forward to the observations... I re read my input and it didnt make sense although I was rushing and interrupted by the phone at the time...Heres another go...

I made an observation in the field on a lumpy shale bark specimen that it appeared that very small nodules had formed under the surface of the bark or possibly the sediment laid down had contained some larger granules which when compacted had created a lumpy structure resisting compaction during the fossilisation process....I suppose the pattern has to be taken into account to... some of the leaf ferns produce seeds on the leafs but I'm still thinking 'galls'...

I've seen info that some ferns had weird combinations of tiny seeds and large seeds - either spores or precursors to spores - not sure. Hopefully closer inspection will provide answers.

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BobWill

Sounds like an "ah ha" moment. Did you ever hear back from the geologist who offered a micro-analysis?

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