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Wood Fossil?


Cameron613

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So I found this stone at Lake Memphremagog on the Vermont side and it looks like wood and feels like wood on one half but on the other side it looks like fossilized wood and the stone/fossil itself is heavy like stone and cold to the touch like stone so it is definitely not entirely wood. I’m wondering if it is just partially fossilized or something but I’m also curious if 1. It actually is a wood fossil and 2. If there’s any chance anyone can tell how old it is by the looks of it. Thank you in advance even if it turns out to be just a very cool looking stone. I’m happy to provide any additional information of needed!

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Welcome to TFF!

It could be petrified wood, but there are several rocks that can look like this.

Can You post pictures straight on to the ends?

Also, a close up of the side that shows the wood grain?

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5 minutes ago, ynot said:

Welcome to TFF!

It could be petrified wood, but there are several rocks that can look like this.

Can You post pictures straight on to the ends?

Also, a close up of the side that shows the wood grain?

Need more? Can only post 1 pic at a time :)

image.jpg

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2 minutes ago, Cameron613 said:

Need more? Can only post 1 pic at a time

Thanks for the additional picture. It will do.

This piece looks like a non fossil piece of driftwood. It also looks like it has been burnt, wich can make wood feel harder than it really is.

Can You scratch it with a fingernail? Can You scratch it with a knife?

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2 minutes ago, ynot said:

Thanks for the additional picture. It will do.

This piece looks like a non fossil piece of driftwood. It also looks like it has been burnt, wich can make wood feel harder than it really is.

Can You scratch it with a fingernail? Can You scratch it with a knife?

Scratching with a fingernail feels like scratching a marble counter top and left no mark. A small knife left a small scratch but not a deep cut. It is also as heavy as a rock. Much heavier than you would expect wood to feel. So maybe it’s just rock? (Knife is pointing at scratch mark)

image.jpg

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The side that is darker or possibly burned had the same effect with the knife. Too hard to make a big scratch and as expected fingernail was useless. (I’m putting a fair amount of pressure while I slice it just for more information)

image.jpg

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From what has been shown I would say it is petrified wood.

It has a very nice state of preservation.

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4 minutes ago, ynot said:

From what has been shown I would say it is petrified wood.

It has a very nice state of preservation.

Awesome! Thanks for all the help. Do you know if it’s common to find (I assume it is but it can never hurt to ask) and also is there any way to tell it’s age?

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The Jersey Devil

It looks like a modern piece of wood with maybe some mineralization.

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Petrified wood is fairly common and can be found in many locations worldwide.

Because it was not found in context with a formation it is hard to determine age. Look at a geologic map of Your area to see what ages of rock are exposed there.

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1 minute ago, The Jersey Devil said:

It looks like a modern piece of wood with maybe some mineralization.

Okay. That could make sense too. Would that explain the weight of it and the hardness? Is that a more likely case than petrified wood? I’m not sure knowledgeable when it comes to this.

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3 minutes ago, ynot said:

Petrified wood is fairly common and can be found in many locations worldwide.

Because it was not found in context with a formation it is hard to determine age. Look at a geologic map of Your area to see what ages of rock are exposed there.

I’m from Ottawa but I found this on a beach at Lake Memphremagog which is at the Vermont/Quebec border. Considering it’s a lake would that mean that a geological map might not be entirely accurate since it could’ve been in the water for who knows how long?

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1 minute ago, Cameron613 said:

I’m from Ottawa but I found this on a beach at Lake Memphremagog which is at the Vermont/Quebec border. Considering it’s a lake would that mean that a geological map might not be entirely accurate since it could’ve been in the water for who knows how long?

One last test (just for kicks), does it float?

 

It could have traveled quite a distance, so the age of the rock where it was found could be way off. But it is a starting point.

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The Jersey Devil
11 minutes ago, Cameron613 said:

Okay. That could make sense too. Would that explain the weight of it and the hardness? Is that a more likely case than petrified wood? I’m not sure knowledgeable when it comes to this.

 

Well, since it does scratch with a knife and in this pic it looks like slivers of wood are a bit loose on it which is atypical of fossil wood (at least in NJ), it is probably a non-fossil that is somewhat mineralized.

49 minutes ago, Cameron613 said:

image.jpg

 

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5 minutes ago, ynot said:

One last test (just for kicks), does it float?

 

It could have traveled quite a distance, so the age of the rock where it was found could be way off. But it is a starting point.

Not even slightly. Sinks like a weight.

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3 minutes ago, The Jersey Devil said:

 

Well, since it does scratch with a knife and in this pic it looks like slivers of wood are a bit loose on it which is atypical of fossil wood (at least in NJ).

 

I agree that part still looks and sort of feels like wood maybe (I can’t tell) but the rest of it definitely feels like stone 100% that’s why I was wondering if it was partially petrified.

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The Jersey Devil
1 minute ago, Cameron613 said:

I agree that part still looks and sort of feels like wood maybe (I can’t tell) but the rest of it definitely feels like stone 100% that’s why I was wondering if it was partially petrified.

 

It's definitely at least partially petrified.

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1 minute ago, Cameron613 said:

wondering if it was partially petrified.

In My opinion this is not the case. I have never heard of partially petrified wood.

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1 minute ago, ynot said:

In My opinion this is not the case. I have never heard of partially petrified wood.

It either is or it isn't. 

It looks like pet wood I have seen.

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1 minute ago, caldigger said:

It either is or it isn't. 

It looks like pet wood I have seen.

 

6 minutes ago, ynot said:

In My opinion this is not the case. I have never heard of partially petrified wood.

 

8 minutes ago, The Jersey Devil said:

 

It's definitely at least partially petrified.

Thank you guys for all the replies. You have all been so helpful!

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4 minutes ago, caldigger said:

It either is or it isn't. 

It looks like pet wood I have seen.

Couldn't have said it better.:D

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The Jersey Devil

Yes, it is either petrified or isn't. Sorry, I meant partly mineralized (if it isn't a fossil it can be incompletely mineralized) instead. Something can't be partly fossilized/petrified since it would be completely replaced by minerals within formation over time.

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Harry Pristis
11 hours ago, The Jersey Devil said:

Yes, it is either petrified or isn't. Sorry, I meant partly mineralized (if it isn't a fossil it can be incompletely mineralized) instead. Something can't be partly fossilized/petrified since it would be completely replaced by minerals within formation over time.

 Lots of interesting opinions in this thread, but some are not very useful.  When we talk technically, let's use "mineralized" or "replaced" because "petrified" or "fossilized" are not technical descriptors. "Partly fossilized/petrified" is a meaningless term in this thread. Mineralization of wood has a start and many mid-points (partly mineralized) before it is fully mineralized.  At any of those mid-points, it may be a fossil.  Depositional environments are not static, and the degee of mineralization of such a fossil depends on the duration of the right environment.  For example, Cretaceous wood can be carbonized, mineralized, or replaced, depending on a favorable depositional environment.  

 

It seems to me that Cameron613's wood is mineralized.  Since the source is unknown geologically, I think it's safe to assume it is a bit of fossil wood.  In the vernacular, it is petrified wood.

 

I have here more than a few similar pieces, stream-worn, and unremarkable (which is why I don't have images of them).  Here is one piece of stream-worn petrified wood from Florida that I did photograph because I think it has some eye-appeal:

 

 

twigs_20_E.JPG

twigs_20_F.JPG

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FranzBernhard

To support Harry Pristis post, here are two examples of partly mineralized and partly coalified wood from Austria, both from the same area of subbituminous grade and miocene in age:

The two pieces to the left are trunks that are silicified in the center and coalified at the rim. Note, that also the silicified part contains some coalified particles, only visible on a polished surface.

The piece at the lower right is largely silicified, but also has some coalified zones. Of special interest is the lower- and rightmost part of this specimen, where silicified and coalified layers are alternating, maybe representig annual rings of the wood. All samples have a sawn surface.

(I have already posted this images in another thread, maybe its ok to post it again?)

Franz Bernhard

Schnitte1.jpg

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FranzBernhard
8 hours ago, Cameron613 said:

Would that explain the weight of it and the hardness?

If you like, you can do a few other tests:

- Try to determine the specific gravity. Its very easy with to do with a kitchen scale.

- You can try do ignite a splinter - what happens? (smell, flame, glowing - or nearly nothing at all)?

- You can put a drop of vinegar on it and see if there is any bubbling. There is the possibility that it is (partly) mineralized with calcite instead of silica. Thats not a usual case, but its possible (I have such piece collected myself).

Franz Bernhard

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