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MarcusFossils

Cretaceous Leaf? Another Mystery...

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MarcusFossils

Hi everyone,

Another mysterious fossil from my collections. I found this perched on the side of a hill in Drumheller, Alberta. My first non-dinosaur fossil found in that area. It looks like a flower or leaf?

Would appreciate any opinion or suggestion, no matter how far-fetched!

post-15490-0-85334700-1404757648_thumb.jpg post-15490-0-58371600-1404757705_thumb.jpg

Thanks,

Regards

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grampa dino

It looks like a cross section of a seed cone Sequoiadendron ??

Hi from Calgary Alberta

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Auspex

If it goes into/through the rock, then it is probably a section through something like a cone, but if it is only on the surface, it could be a modern lichen or such.

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MarcusFossils

It looks like a cross section of a seed cone Sequoiadendron ??

Hi from Calgary Alberta

If it goes into/through the rock, then it is probably a section through something like a cone, but if it is only on the surface, it could be a modern lichen or such.

It doesn't appear on the otheer side and its almost certainly not a lichen ( I scratched at it)

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Auspex

The lichen thought was a long shot...been known to happen!

Cone is the best bet; how thick is the rock that it doesn't go through?

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MarcusFossils

Not more than half a centimeter

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Auspex

Well, there's the problem; it either has to be the very butt-end of the cone, or it's not a cone (and I've run out of ideas).

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MarcusFossils

Thanks for the help Auspex. I assume flower is out of the question? :)

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Tethys

I can see this as a partial fossil cone imprint, but the sharply defined, narrow rays that radiate out from the center are not very plant like anatomy.

I don't know if there are marine/estuary sequences in Drumheller, but your imprint strongly resembles a dermal denticle.

Here is a pic from forum member Roz of some fantastic Petrodus denticles.

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Roadrunner

If there were any marine sequences, this too is a long shot.

I keep seeing a Subphylum-type crinoid, as if it were fossilized with branching arms extended outward. If you look here;

http://www.mcz.harvard.edu/Departments/InvertPaleo/Trenton/Intro/PaleoPage/TrentonFauna/Echinodermata/EchinoImages/MCZ113640.jpg

...and here;

http://www.mcz.harvard.edu/Departments/InvertPaleo/Trenton/Intro/PaleoPage/TrentonFauna/Echinodermata/Crinozoa/Crinozoa.htm

..you might see what I mean. The introduction of the fossil did create a redactive-color process in the stone - which I'm assuming is sandstone?

We get a lot of the redactive-coloring in rock in our area.

It is the shape of the fossil, that I can't match with any land plants or animals.

The white spots in the red sandstone are reduction spots, which are a result of the chemistry of the sandstone and groundwater when the rock was formed. Red sandstones, like the Jacobsville, get their colour from a little bit of iron in the cement that was precipitated by groundwater and holds the sand grains together into solid rock. Because of the oxygen in the atmosphere and water, most of the iron is oxidised, making it red. In a few places the iron is reduced, leaving the sandstone the white colour. The iron doesn’t get oxidised in those small zones because something in the rock used up all the oxygen before the iron could get it. Usually that something is a small bit of organic matter that was decomposing in the sand or a mineral that is more easily oxidised than iron. The area around that little bit of organic matter or mineral becomes oxygen poor, making the white reduction spots you see in those rocks.
Edited by Roadrunner

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MarcusFossils

I was thinking along these lines;

pycnocrinus-argutua_zps38806649.jpg

Pycnocrinus argutus

http://as-cascade.syr.edu/profiles/pages/EAR_dev/Brower-Jim.html

I'm not sure how my fossil looks like a crinoid...Do you mean my fossil is like a "top view" of a crinoid? Because I know there are marine fossils (and crinoids) in the area I found this.

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Roadrunner

I'm not sure how my fossil looks like a crinoid...Do you mean my fossil is like a "top view" of a crinoid? Because I know there are marine fossils (and crinoids) in the area I found this.

Yes - a top view,looking down on it - where material falling on top of it may have also splayed out the crinoid arms. I've been looking for an example, but the only examples I've come up with so far are their relative Echinoderms, the star fish. I found a video of a crinoid actually crawling which is pretty interesting on this page; http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2013/7/inverts

...but i'm still looking for an example of what I'm referring to in a crinoid fossil.

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Roadrunner

Here's an example - this is a "stemless" crinoid (fossil);

crinoid-saccocoma_zps1e336d86.jpg

"Genus name is Saccocoma and these fossils are found from the Upper Jurassic Solnhofen limestone in Germany."

...quoted from page (scroll down a little more than midway) here;

http://echinoblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/giant-floaty-swimmy-fossil-crinoids.html

Now that I have a possible genus - "Saccocoma," there is a lot of information on and pictures of these extinct fossils with a simple Google search.

There are fake fossils of these sold they are apparently so rare. That would be cool if that is what you have. But it is a cool fossil, either way. :)

Edited by Roadrunner

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MarcusFossils

Yes...but it's so messy, asymmetric.

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piranha

The previous assessment of a cone cross-section appears to be consistent with this image: LINK

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MarcusFossils

Agreed! Any idea what kind of trees grew in that area?

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piranha

That photo was appropriate as Metasequoia was the prolific conifer throughout the Cretaceous of North America.

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Roadrunner

Yes...but it's so messy, asymmetric.

If you google the genus "Saccocoma," (images) there are many examples of more symmetric ones.

sacco_reko_zpsf34ea873.jpg

Edited by Roadrunner

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MarcusFossils

If you google the genus "Saccocoma," there are many examples of more symmetric ones.

Yes, but the pale "filling" between the branches wouldn't make sense if it was saccocoma. Also, saccocoma seems to always have more than five arms.

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Roadrunner

Yes, but the pale "filling" between the branches wouldn't make sense if it was saccocoma. Also, saccocoma seems to always have more than five arms.

I posted the part about the geology because it can explain it. A more brief way of explaining the "paste" or lightened section between the branches can be explained by understanding that the redaction in coloring isn't just on the surface. If the fossil were to break open (oh no!) you'd find the whitened sections go into the rock. I have broken open many rocks that have redaction, and the circle is really a sphere.

It was explained to us by a geologist like this, "Pretend that you put a drop of bleach on some blue jeans. The drop will spread out in a circle - and in silty material, in a sphere. When organic matter "bleaches" the iron out of a rock - the redaction spreads out away from whatever organic matter was in the middle that causes the redaction."

I'm not saying it is a saccocoma, but the "bleaching" of the rock between the organic matter can be explained by redaction.

Edited by Roadrunner

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piranha

If you google the genus "Saccocoma," (images) there are many examples of more symmetric ones.

sacco_reko_zpsf34ea873.jpg

Unfortunately the resemblance to Saccocoma is only superficial, this genus occurs only in the Mesozoic of Europe. Considering where it was found, Metasequoia is a better possible candidate for ID.

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Roadrunner

Unfortunately the resemblance to Saccocoma is only superficial, this genus occurs only in the Mesozoic of Europe. Considering where it was found, Metasequoia is a better possible candidate for ID.

I've read in Europe and in North America, below.

Saccocoma is an extinct genus of crinoid that lived from the Late Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous in Europe and North America.

And considering that it can be found in those 2 places, having read about the conditions it required - it sounds like it could have been in any "murky" receding seas.

http://www.palass-pubs.org/palaeontology/pdf/Vol37/Pages%20121-129.pdf

Edited by Roadrunner

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piranha

I've found in Europe and in North America.

And considering that it can be found in those 2 places, having read about the conditions it required - it sounds like it could have been in any "murky" receding seas.

http://www.palass-pubs.org/palaeontology/pdf/Vol37/Pages%20121-129.pdf

Evidently, there are Saccocoma from the Atlantic Seaboard and Gulf Coast. But it's primarily a European genus and none are recorded from Canada.

Metasequoia just seems much more plausible in this instance.

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Auspex

...Metasequoia just seems much more plausible in this instance.

This is the only ID that is consistent with the evidence and plausible from the location. I am convinced.

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