Jump to content

Mystery Fragment from Purse State Park


HoppeHunting

Recommended Posts

Hi all, 

 

This little fragment was one of my many finds at my first trip to Purse State Park. I've posted a trip report; go check it out if you haven't already. Although I found hundreds of fossils, I had very little trouble with identification as the formations at Purse only yield a handful of fossil species. But this one strange fragment has got me stumped. It's about 3/4 of an inch and pretty thin. One side is very bumpy with a small, smooth protrusion in the middle. The other side is very smooth with no bumps but some very tiny holes. It looks somewhat similar to a few of the crocodile and turtle fossils found along the Maryland Potomac coast that I've seen online. My best guess is that it is a scute of some kind due to the protrusion on the bumpy side, or perhaps a skull fragment. Again, I'm really not sure with this one. Any help would be much appreciated. It's always exciting to find something a little different! Thanks. Hoppe hunting!

image2 (1).jpeg

image1 (2).jpeg

image1 (3).jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you please include a ruler or something of the like in your photos for scale. It really helps to know the size for ID.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If the bumps are concave I’d say croc scute, if convex I’d say botryoidal hematite.

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hard to tell from the dark pictures, but I think it is a drum fish tooth plate.

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

When you see these in the literature, they are usually described as boxfish dermal plates.

  • I found this Informative 7
Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, caldigger said:

Can you please include a ruler or something of the like in your photos for scale. It really helps to know the size for ID.

My apologies. I stated the approximate length in the description, so hopefully that should help for now, but I'll be sure to include a scale in the future. Thanks for the tip!

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Al Dente said:

When you see these in the literature, they are usually described as boxfish dermal plates.

I think that could very well be it! I looked into boxfish fossils and it looks incredibly similar to some of the specimen. Thank you!

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, HoppeFossilHunting said:

Hi all, 

 

This little fragment was one of my many finds at my first trip to Purse State Park. I've posted a trip report; go check it out if you haven't already. Although I found hundreds of fossils, I had very little trouble with identification as the formations at Purse only yield a handful of fossil species. But this one strange fragment has got me stumped. It's about 3/4 of an inch and pretty thin. One side is very bumpy with a small, smooth protrusion in the middle. The other side is very smooth with no bumps but some very tiny holes. It looks somewhat similar to a few of the crocodile and turtle fossils found along the Maryland Potomac coast that I've seen online. My best guess is that it is a scute of some kind due to the protrusion on the bumpy side, or perhaps a skull fragment. Again, I'm really not sure with this one. Any help would be much appreciated. It's always exciting to find something a little different! Thanks. Hoppe hunting!

image2 (1).jpeg

image1 (2).jpeg

image1 (3).jpeg

Interesting object, but cannot determine what because of the lack of visible diagnostic features. I do take exception to your comment about the lack of diversity in the Aquia Formation. True over 95 % of what you find are Striatolamia strata (Sand Tiger) shark teeth, Myliobatis (ray teeth), and turritella gastropod internal molds. Actually, there are over 25 species of shark teeth represented in the Aquia- many of them micros, plus croc teeth and bones, turtle shell bits and bones, shark and fish vertebrae, plant fossils, and a number of types of bivalve shells. After four visits I'm still expanding the biodiversity of my collection from there. Careful searching should expand the diversity of your collection as well. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Jeffrey P said:

many of them micros

I’ve heard this as well, I must try micro from there someday soon, though at the moment I would guess the gravel would be frozen. After my 3 (short) visits I have yet to find a decent sized otodus or a paleocarc.

I'm usually careful to leave most sand tigers (unless they have some other redeeming factor) for the children and others since I have enough. Would hate to see purse deplete someday, I hope that day is in the far future.

Link to post
Share on other sites
finderskeepers

Al Dente identified it. Ostraciidae (Box Fish) dermal plate also called scute.  I have 4 from along the Potomac. Good find, I think they get overlooked pretty frequently. Everyone wants the sharks teeth.

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.

×
×
  • Create New...