Jump to content
Max-fossils

Scallop: fossil or not?

Recommended Posts

Max-fossils

Hi all,

 

I found this partial scallop yesterday. I found it on the Acrocorinth, in Corinth (Greece). I'm not really looking after the species, even though obviously if someone can tell it it would be great. I'm more looking to see whether it is fossil or not. Here are my pro/con arguments:

 

Pro:

• thick and heavy

• found at about 400m altitude

• I had to dig it out of the dirt

 

Con:

• very colorful

• shiny

• no references of fossils being found here

 

Anyone know if it is fossil or not?

 

Thanks,

 

Max

 

IMG_0295.JPG

IMG_0296.JPG

Here are some more pics of it, when wet:

 

IMG_0301.JPG

IMG_0302.JPG

And I also found this nearby. Looks like coral/bryozoan or something like that (I'm really not sure: this could easily be a concretion):

 

IMG_0299.JPG

IMG_0300.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Foozil

Not a fossil. (the shell)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Max-fossils
3 minutes ago, Foozil said:

Not a fossil.

Arguments? Can you please explain why?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Foozil
Just now, Max-fossils said:

Arguments? Can you please explain why?

Its still got colours. But if it was 400 meters high, then it could have been placed up there. It could still be very old. 

What colour were the rocks in the area?

Sorry about not providing reasoning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Max-fossils
2 hours ago, Foozil said:

Its still got colours. But if it was 400 meters high, then it could have been placed up there. It could still be very old. 

What colour were the rocks in the area?

Sorry about not providing reasoning.

The rocks were reddish-black. There were many other smaller rocks of different colors though.

I know that some fossil shells still keep color when fossilizing, depending on the area. In Algarve (Portugal) for example, the fossil seashells from the Miocene, though mostly white, sometimes have pinkish-orangish colors. Not as strong as this scallop though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Foozil
9 hours ago, Max-fossils said:

The rocks were reddish-black. There were many other smaller rocks of different colors though.

I know that some fossil shells still keep color when fossilizing, depending on the area. In Algarve (Portugal) for example, the fossil seashells from the Miocene, though mostly white, sometimes have pinkish-orangish colors. Not as strong as this scallop though.

Just to be 100%, you could soak it in vinegar for a couple of minutes, and then see if the colours are any more intense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abyssunder
13 hours ago, Max-fossils said:

Hi all,

 

... I'm not really looking after the species, even though obviously if someone can tell it it would be great.

It could be a worn Spondylus , that could be the reason why it's reddish in color on the external side of the valve, and has no spines. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RyanDye

A common indicator in marine invertebrate fossils such as scallops are holes throughout the shell. I see small dents in the shell but, the clam is very colorful and if it really was a fossil it would likely have a sand or soil matrix surrounding it since the scallop is fairly small. To be a fossil it has to be at least 8,000yrs before the common era or B.C.E I would like to think your shell could likely be from the Holocene epoch if the area had such fossils from the time. Furthermore, since it was dug out of the ground it's likely more preserved than other surrounding shells exposed to the sun on the surface. While this is evidence of aging that does not necessarily make it a fossil.  

 

This is a good example, the top shell is visibly more white in a specific area when I excavated this out of the ground the white area was exposed from the soil.

596db72f9d129_20170718_0320361.thumb.jpg.12ee9cced3cf5c0fd905e76e5811138c.jpg

 

 

Another reference, showing a scallop held inside a matrix found on a sea shore in eastern Florida. 

SingleShot0000.jpg.5c556eb9461caa6430fcae72d6a2f97c.jpg

 

I hope this was useful still interesting find considering the area you described.

2 hours ago, abyssunder said:

It could be a worn Spondylus , that could be the reason why it's reddish in color on the external side of the valve, and has no spines. :)

That's a very good point I found some reference of this.

670965.jpg.955a0c0e0ba5ae11286798170bae3db2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sixgill pete
11 minutes ago, ynot said:

There are several critters that live in the ocean that make their home in extant shells. The amount of holes does not indicate a fossil or not.

 

Do not agree with this and am not sure there is a defined age for a shell to become a fossil.

 

Many shells that are considered to be fossils (and much older than 8000 years) are free of matrix.

 

 

I agree completely with what Tony (ynot) said. It is very possible this could be a fossilized shell. Fossils do at times retain color, and also are colored by the minerals in the sediment. There is a river in North Carolina that is well known for red colored sharks teeth. I have teeth that are red, blue and a variety of other colors and hues. Shells can and do have some amazing colors sometimes, so do not say it is not a fossil because it has color. 

 

First there needs to be an I.D. put to the specimen, knowing the age of the sediments it came from would be a great help to start with. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RyanDye
1 minute ago, ynot said:

There are several critters that live in the ocean that make their home in extant shells. The amount of holes does not indicate a fossil or not.

 

Do not agree with this and am not sure there is a defined age for a shell to become a fossil.

 

Many shells that are considered to be fossils (and much older than 8000 years) are free of matrix.

1

As I said common indication I did not say that all shells possess these traits. I also did not say no shells free of a matrix are not considered fossils. 

12 minutes ago, Ryan Dye said:

would likely have a sand or soil matrix surrounding it since the scallop is fairly small.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/fossil

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/prehistoric

https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/fossil/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RyanDye
8 minutes ago, sixgill pete said:

 

 

I agree completely with what Tony (ynot) said. It is very possible this could be a fossilized shell. Fossils do at times retain color, and also are colored by the minerals in the sediment. There is a river in North Carolina that is well known for red colored sharks teeth. I have teeth that are red, blue and a variety of other colors and hues. Shells can and do have some amazing colors sometimes, so do not say it is not a fossil because it has color. 

 

First there needs to be an I.D. put to the specimen, knowing the age of the sediments it came from would be a great help to start with. 

 

You can read my entire comment not once did I say "this is not a fossil" I do not understand where I did not only use neutral evidence my first reference was a counter argument as the conches were found in a Pleistocene fossil rich area. As I said these indications do not mean it is surely a fossil or it is surely not a fossil.

33 minutes ago, Ryan Dye said:

if it really was a fossil

Oh my bad, I did not notice this I was meaning to suggest evidence of color is found in less aged shells too my apologies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RyanDye
23 minutes ago, sixgill pete said:

Many shells that are considered to be fossils (and much older than 8000 years) are free of matrix.

B.C.E stands for before common era. Years from 0+ are considered in the common era. 8,000 years before year 0 is year 10 thousand years as so far the common era has consisted of 2017 years. In year 3000 a fossil in 2017 would be over ten thousand years old so we would be considered fossilized if our remains were preserved at this time.

6 minutes ago, sixgill pete said:

@Ryan Dye 

Ryan, I was not inferring at all that you said it was or was not a fossil. I was merely agreeing with Tony and his comment, then adding my 2 cents so to speak. Often times there are several differing opinions on items posted on her. Many times there is disagreement between members on ID, age and if it is a fossil or not. We all post our opinion and we accept that others think different. When someone disagrees it does not mean he or she is dissing you in any way, they are just giving you there opinion. 

 

In the end, the hope is we make the correct ID's and everyone learns something.

I understand I caught a mistake on my part in the process of reviewing evidence so I was explaining my reasoning then stating my wrong information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RyanDye
10 minutes ago, Peat Burns said:

As a palaeoecologist, I am partial to a broader definition of fossil that does not require petrification / lithification:  "Evidence of past life preserved in a geologic context".  This distinguishes fossils from modern detritus and focuses the term more on the value of the remains to our understanding of the past and less value on whether or not they have been petrified (the duration of the process of which can vary significantly from site to site).  Among other things, there are fossils that are millions of years old that have not been mineral replaced and are still composed of their original substance. :)

The definition is disputable. Your definition appeals to me more, but then that leads me to the question of how old is old? I agree that fossils that are millions of years old can still contain original substance. I was referring to scallops specifically showing discoloration in aging in some instances.

Edited by RyanDye
Grammar and syntax.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kane
4 minutes ago, Ryan Dye said:

 that leads me to the question of how old is old? 

Terms like "old" lend themselves to subjective opinion and are highly relative. Science is able to avoid this in many instances by simply stating numeric age. ;) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RyanDye
1 minute ago, Kane said:

Terms like "old" lend themselves to subjective opinion and are highly relative. Science is able to avoid this in many instances by simply stating numeric age. ;) 

That is true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Foozil

Just a question: How long can fossils retain their original colour (under perfect conditions)? 

Also, please keep in mind the whole vinegar thing. The vinegar should dissolve off an extremely thin layer covering the shell, and we will be able to see how intense the actual colour is. I'm sure that if its a fossil, it wouldn't have retained the bright colours it had when it was alive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RyanDye
11 minutes ago, Peat Burns said:

I don't disagree that color can sometimes be useful in suggesting relative age, especially if it is a known taxon and the color is consistent with the color of extant individuals (rather than other colors caused by mineral "staining".   But, I have found fossil horse conchs (much like yours) in Florida that still have some of the faint burnt orange color inside the aperture, and these are many 100s of thousands of years old.

 

I typically avoid getting into questions about whether something is fossil or not for a number of reasons.  One is that people's definition of fossil differs.  Secondly, if the geologic context from which the specimen came is not known AND it is in an area where modern specimens of the same taxon can be found, then it can be very difficult to determine the relative age (especially if it is a mollusk).

 

Please don't take responses as unfriendly or unconstructive criticism.  This discourse helps all of us learn.  Keep up your investigations and your contributions on the forum :)

I understand and don't take it personally you make very good points. I try to be neutral in an identification. I am trying to also rely solely on evidence rather than more disputable sources, unfortunately, this was very disputed than I had known on what the actual definition of a fossil is. You are very right in saying with the lack of information comes a lack of explanation. I will think more about all the factors of aging. I very well could have described more correct and accurate. I will not repeat the same view point when this topic approaches me in the future. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RyanDye
5 minutes ago, Foozil said:

Just a question: How long can fossils retain their original colour (under perfect conditions)? 

Also, please keep in mind the whole vinegar thing. The vinegar should dissolve off a microscopic layer covering the shell, and we will be able to see how intense the actual colour is. I'm sure that if its a fossil, it wouldn't have retained the bright colours it had when it was alive.

I'm not trying to go against what you're saying but, a question like that is bound to get conflicting opinions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Foozil
6 minutes ago, Ryan Dye said:

I'm not trying to go against what you're saying but, a question like that is bound to get conflicting opinions.

That doesn't matter. Its a question, if people know the answer/s and want to tell me, then they can, and if people disagree, they can. 

Edit: I edited the "microscopic layer" part out of that quote, which isn't necessarily true 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RyanDye
1 minute ago, Foozil said:

That doesn't matter. Its a question, if people know the answer/s and want to tell me, then they can, and if people disagree, they can. 

To answer your question in my perspective I feel it heavily depends upon the fossil not sure on the oldest possible. The dinosaur feather in amber found last year is a completely colored as the original. I think it was a Cretaceous dromaeosaur? Don't take my word on that though.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ynot
2 hours ago, Ryan Dye said:

As I said common indication

And what I am saying is that is not an indication (common or not) of whether a shell is a fossil or not.

Just because a shell has holes in it means nothing other than it was attacked by hole boring animals.

 

There is a Triassic site in northeast Nevada that some of the shells still show the original color patterns.

 

Also, I have a trace fossil of a tin can in My collection. It can not be more than 160 years old, and is set in a naturally occurring lithified gypsum sand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×