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Petrified fig?


abm

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Hi, I've just joined The Fossil Forum to try and find out something about my fig. It's a family heirloom, I have no idea where it was found / bought, all I know is that my grandfather (long dead) gave it to my mother on condition it became mine when she died. I have dug around online and found very little about petrified figs and stumbled across this forum. So, here it is...

post-20257-0-98667400-1450023765_thumb.jpg

post-20257-0-39593900-1450023767_thumb.jpg

post-20257-0-47293200-1450023768_thumb.jpg

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Welcome.

It's a strange piece. Without the proper information it's a bit difficult to suggest anything in certainty. But to me it looks like a very worn type of echinoid.

Edit: ahh, beat by the Aus man.

Edited by fossilized6s
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I think it's a flint sponge. Very fig like though!

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Hi,

I think that this fossil has more luck to be a sponge that a sea urchin. I not distinguish any ambulacral or interambulacral area, and what would be the mouth is too prominent.

Coco

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It really does look like a fig, though... :zzzzscratchchin:

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I agree that it looks like a fig. Maybe it is something appropriate to Spinifructus antiquus (Ficus ceratops) from the Cretaceous Hell Creek formation.

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That is pretty neat. My second thought after fig would be a sponge.

It seems less likely that it would be a purchased fossil since your grandfather insisted

It be passed on to you. Did he travel or was he mainly local to his town?

The type of fossilization may be a clue. Sponges aren't commonly fossilized.

Thanks for posting. How about some cheese with the fig?

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That is pretty neat. My second thought after fig would be a sponge.

It seems less likely that it would be a purchased fossil since your grandfather insisted

It be passed on to you. Did he travel or was he mainly local to his town?

The type of fossilization may be a clue. Sponges aren't commonly fossilized.

Thanks for posting. How about some cheese with the fig?

Depends on the formation - Chalk flint sponges are very common around this part of Europe and people frequently pick them up from the beaches wondering what they are. It is very neat! (and I'd love for it to be a fig...)

Edited by TqB
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I think it's a flint sponge. Very fig like though!

Hi,

I think that this fossil has more luck to be a sponge that a sea urchin. I not distinguish any ambulacral or interambulacral area, and what would be the mouth is too prominent.

Coco

Quite probably so. :)

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I'm wondering if anyone has seen the hardly visible poligonal structered "plates" (what I supposed to be) in the lower part of pic 3 in a closer view, or just my mind taking tricks? If..., could be Echinoderm. :)

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...I not distinguish any ambulacral or interambulacral area...

There is only this suggestive shape:

post-423-0-96722500-1450048442_thumb.jpg

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I'm referring to this : attachicon.gif2.jpg ...

Yes, my friend :)

I was thinking further about a possible ambulacral.

This one does not place easily!

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Looking again, I'm not sure it's flint.

I'll still argue for sponge for now and throw in a worn Astylospongia (Ordovician/Silurian) as a possibility.

It may help that it's found as an erratic in the Netherlands and Germany.

Edited by TqB
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I agree that looks older than Cretaceous, probably around Ordovician. A cross section through the specimen may be a good guide to exclude a lot of variants.

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looks like a fig to me.

Yes, it does, and therein lies the problem. It looks like a fresh, succulent fig; not at all like one that underwent petrifaction.

If it is stone (which has not actually been stated), it pretty much has to be something else that wound up looking like a fig, or it has to have been made as a decorative sculptural object.

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Yes, it does, and therein lies the problem. It looks like a fresh, succulent fig; not at all like one that underwent petrifaction.

If it is stone (which has not actually been stated), it pretty much has to be something else that wound up looking like a fig, or it has to have been made as a decorative sculptural object.

Respectfully,I don't see why it has to be something else other than a fig. A possibly it is something else. But from the evidence, or lack thereof, there is no clear evidence it is not a fossil fig. The top area is the same, the bottom is the same. It has the slight indentations on the sides and the structure. The "ambulacral area" could have been a split in the skin. I dont see it looking 'fresh and succulent' it looks like a well preserved fossil. If you compare the fresh figs in f.1 above to the fossil f.2 the markings are identical. f.3 and f.4 are also fossil figs. There has been no proof it is something else, and until I see new evidence, I for one will still consider it a fig.

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Not sure about this specimen, but the images you show of "fossil figs" (originally published under the name Ficus ceratops Knowlton 1911) have been reinterpreted as palm fruits and transferred to Spinifructus antiquus (Dawson) McIver 2002. I don't know any other records of fossil figs, so if this would be one, it would be a considerably rare occurrence. Regardless, I have trouble interpreting the fossil as a fig, given the deep depression on the underside. This feature would seem odd to me, given the "flawless preservation" of the rest of the "fruit".

  • I found this Informative 1
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I cannot dismiss the idea that it could be a carved decorative facsimile: LINK

An antique, but not a fossil.

  • I found this Informative 2
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I cannot dismiss the idea that it could be a carved decorative facsimile: LINK

An antique, but not a fossil.

Ha, that may be spot on... Why on earth do people make those?

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