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bombahc

Found Soft Tissue In Fossil, Not Sure How To Procede!

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bombahc

I found a fossil during a recent outing in Southwestern PA, where late Carboniferous/early Permian plant fossils are pretty plentiful. With the usual fern fossil finds, one in paticular contained something I haven't found before. I used a chisel to crack open a rock and inside found part of a leaf stem and vein. I expected that it would just be carbon powder at this point, and blow away, but it appears the specimen is more intact. The specimen is a reddish brown color, is still pliable, texture like leather, and it does not appear to have transitioned to mineral composition.

It is circled in the attached picture. There is a fossil of a fern to the left of the specimen, not a particularly amazing one, but I'm wondering if anyone else has found something similar, if this might actually be preserved soft tissue and if the leaf stem and vein might serve a better purpose in the hands of a researcher - anyone know if this might be something that would be worthwhile contacting some of the local college geology departments about donating or some other entity with tools and an interest in its study? I'm not sure how common or uncommon a find like this would be.

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bombahc

Sorry - here's the picture. It didn't attach before...

post-14673-0-48621400-1402063413_thumb.gif

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creto

I would guess that is a recent root that has grown into a crevice.

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Fossildude19

Looks more like a modern root that grew into a crack in the rock - I find them all the time.

Regards,

OOps! Beat to it by Creto.

Regards,

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painshill

x 3 with respect to it being modern.

Such items do exist from the carboniferous, but they're found within what are known as "coal balls" which contain calcite permineralized and semi-fossilised plant material that's in the territory of peat. They're carbonised concretions of plant material that didn't make it all the way to becoming coal, but are still very dark in colour:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_balls

Edited by painshill

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rejd

Another vote for recent root. I do find the same thing here as well.

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bombahc

I think you all are right - one thing I noticed is that the veins of the fossil (on the left) are oppositely branched whereas the little specimen in question is alternately branched. Always helps to have additional eyes on it! Thanks for your help, rock hounds!

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ashcraft

I have found actual ancient leaves, although not near the age of the deposit you are looking at. They are pleistocene, and when split out of the clay and are exposed to air, they curl up and "burn".

fkaa

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