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MikeC

From Alaska Inside Passage Island

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MikeC

Hi, all.

Total rookie here.  I found this on the beach of an island in Alaska's Inside Passage several years ago and have often wondered what it is. There seem to be many genuine experts here, so I'm grateful for any help! It's strongly curved on one side of its cross-section and much flatter on the other side.

Thanks!

 

AKIPFossilA.jpg

AKIPFossilB.jpg

AKIPFossilC.jpg

AKIPFossilD.jpg

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ynot

Welcome to TFF!

Unfortunately I do not see a fossil in Your rock. It looks like a sandstone concretion.

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MikeC

Well, thank you!

Now I can stop wondering!

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GeschWhat

@ynot may be right, but just for giggles, if you touch the end shown in the last photo with a wet finger (or the tip of your tongue if you are brave), does it feel sticky?

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Plax

has a look of schist to it. Does a close look at the dark specs show crystalline structure?

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MeargleSchmeargl

Geologic. Neat and colorful rock! :)

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Darktooth

Welcome to the forum from New York!

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jpc

I saw a piece of schist in there as well.  

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Peat Burns
7 minutes ago, jpc said:

I saw a piece of schist in there as well.  

Bahahahaha.  I see what you did there:hearty-laugh:

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jpc
38 minutes ago, Peat Burns said:

Bahahahaha.  I see what you did there:hearty-laugh:

I do too, now that you pointed it out.  It is too early in the morning to say something like that on purpose.  : )

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MikeC

 

On ‎3‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 10:56 PM, GeschWhat said:

@ynot may be right, but just for giggles, if you touch the end shown in the last photo with a wet finger (or the tip of your tongue if you are brave), does it feel sticky?

Ok, I'm game! 

Yes, it definitely does feel sticky.

Is this some kind of rookie hazing, or does that really mean something?:)

Thanks again!

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GeschWhat
42 minutes ago, MikeC said:

 

Ok, I'm game! 

Yes, it definitely does feel sticky.

Is this some kind of rookie hazing, or does that really mean something?:)

Thanks again!

It's not really a hazing...:P

 

I study coprolites. Out in the field, many times it's hard to tell a concretion from a coprolite or a piece of fossil bone from petrified wood. I was taught a quick check was to touch it to the tip of your tongue. Bone and coprolites, depending on the fossilization process, stick to your tongue. Petrified wood and concretions will not. The reason for this is that fossil bone and coprolites contain a lot of calcium phosphate, which can be very porous. That said, not all forms of calcium phosphate are porous - like when it takes the form of apatite.

 

When I saw the end of your specimen in the last photo, it looked a lot like what I see in coprolites. Of course, anytime I see something that could remotely be fossil poo, I give it the old lick test. This does not always work, and is not a definitive test by any means. There are a lot of different factors you have to take into consideration when determining whether or not you have a coprolite. Location is the most important. Many things resemble fossils, so if you aren't in an area where fossils are found, you can't expect to find bone or coprolites. Something about the primary surface in your second photo looked a little bit like there could be bone under there, and like I said before, the one end looks like coprolite. I can't tell exactly what you have. As the others can attest, I am often mistaken. However, if you have good stickage, your rock could  have an organic origin. Perhaps not just a shisty old stone? :D

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Malone
2 hours ago, MikeC said:

 

Ok, I'm game! 

Yes, it definitely does feel sticky.

Is this some kind of rookie hazing, or does that really mean something?:)

Thanks again!

I think that's supposed to test for possibly being a coprolite, but I can't be sure.

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GeschWhat
2 minutes ago, Malone said:

I think that's supposed to test for possibly being a coprolite, but I can't be sure.

Yep...or bone :D

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ynot

I would like to point out that there are several non fossil rocks that will also be sticky with this test.. (and a  few rare ones that are poisonous.)

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GeschWhat
Just now, ynot said:

I would like to point out that there are several non fossil rocks that will also be sticky with this test.. (and a  few rare ones that are poisonous.)

Which ones?

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ynot
26 minutes ago, GeschWhat said:

Which ones?

Chalk, caliche, some opalite can stick.

 

Rock containing arsenic or a few other rare earth elements (can't think of them right now.) can be poisonous, but not likely to come across these unless at an old mine site.

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KimTexan
2 hours ago, MikeC said:

 

Ok, I'm game! 

Yes, it definitely does feel sticky.

Is this some kind of rookie hazing, or does that really mean something?:)

Thanks again!

A warm welcome from Texas (It was 79 here today).

It is definitely not some kind of hazing. Now that you mention it though I think it’s a pretty funny kind of initiation into the fossil fanatics group, I mean, The Fossil Forum. Have them lick it and then tell them it’s poo aka coprolite afterwards. You should see some of the reactions people have.

I too have licked coprolite poo, but I knew prior to licking it there was a possibility it was coprolite.

Alaska is a cool place (no pun intended) to be hunting fossils or prehistoric life forms. Some of which have been frozen, but not fossilized.

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GeschWhat
7 minutes ago, ynot said:

Chalk, caliche, some opalite can stick.

 

Rock containing arsenic or a few other rare earth elements (can't think of them right now.) can be poisonous, but not likely to come across these unless at a old mine site.

Lead would be bad as well (galena). The chalk I have encountered was porous, but didn't feel "sticky." The caliche I've seen at the dig sites had a high iron content and wasn't sticky either (except for the bone inclusions). Come to think of it, couldn't caliche contain coprolites? Here I go on my poo thing again, but I wonder if some chalk sticks because it's been exposed to guano (see monetite). If that is the case, it would be coprolite related as well. I don't know if you have ever seen this Scrubs song, but everything comes down to poo (at least in my world). :D

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Malone
48 minutes ago, ynot said:

I would like to point out that there are several non fossil rocks that will also be sticky with this test.. (and a  few rare ones that are poisonous.)

There are some near me that are radioactive.

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GeschWhat
4 minutes ago, Malone said:

There are some near me that are radioactive.

Yikes! I know I have been in some areas where we weren't allowed to dig because of erionite - but that is an inhalation hazard, not ingestion. It is important to know your area.

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Malone
7 minutes ago, GeschWhat said:

Yikes! I know I have been in some areas where we weren't allowed to dig because of erionite - but that is an inhalation hazard, not ingestion. It is important to know your area.

When I first came to the Pueblo area  I found a real pretty rock. I started grinding, sanding and polishing before I I realized it was a piece of crocodilite(sp?) a type of asbestos. I have also found some that is an adulterated form mercury.

Edited by Malone
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jpc
15 hours ago, Malone said:

When I first came to the Pueblo area  I found a real pretty rock. I started grinding, sanding and polishing before I I realized it was a piece of crocodilite(sp?) a type of asbestos. I have also found some that is an adulterated form mercury.

adulterated form of mercury is pretty vague... after all table salt is an adulterated form of two not too friendly compounds... sodium, which burns upon contact with water, and chlorine, which in its gaseous form will kill you dead.  Table salt. 

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Malone
49 minutes ago, jpc said:

adulterated form of mercury is pretty vague... after all table salt is an adulterated form of two not too friendly compounds... sodium, which burns upon contact with water, and chlorine, which in its gaseous form will kill you dead.  Table salt. 

Cinnabar . Sodium explodes on contact with water

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DPS Ammonite
18 hours ago, Malone said:

When I first came to the Pueblo area  I found a real pretty rock. I started grinding, sanding and polishing before I I realized it was a piece of crocodilite(sp?) a type of asbestos. I have also found some that is an adulterated form mercury.

Both cinnabar and liquid mercury are relatively safe in reasonable quanties and are poorly absorbed by humans. Don't inhale large amounts of either as dust or liquid or inhale a large amount of fumes from roasting cinnabar as some miners did. The most dangerous thing about a chuck of cinnabar is being hit on the side of your head with it.

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