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Chunkette

Large shell fossil ID help please

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Chunkette

Hello, I wondered if someone can help me identify some fossils I found, please? I am completely new to fossil hunting and don’t know very much at all yet. Yesterday I found 3 beautiful shell fossils half way up a mountain called Jebel Hafeet in the desert of Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, Middle East. Is it possible you could tell me anything about them please? I know the mountain used to be under the sea millions of years ago  (the ocean was called the Tethys), so I’m guessing the shells were sea shells, not land shells. They are filled with lovely clear crystals. They also have very small circular fossils on them, I have circled the fossil circles in red in one of the photographs. I have no idea what those are! The shell fossils are very heavy and are the size of my hand. (Roughly 12cm x 10cm / 5”x4” ) Any information you can give me on the shells/crystals would be much appreciated. Thank you so much. Kind regards, Caroline 

 

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Tidgy's Dad

The shells are  molds of marine gastropods, not sure which kind and the objects you've circled are the shells of single- celled organisms, foraminifera called Nummulites. 

Nice finds.

Hello, and a very warm welcome to TFF from Morocco. :)

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Wrangellian

The things you have circled are Nummulites, a type of foraminiferan that indicate an age of Eocene to Miocene. I can't help with the ID of your snail, however... it looks to be just a steinkern (the internal space filled with sediment, shell is missing). It might be possible to ID it if someone had access to paleontological papers pertaining to your local area/formation.

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Wrangellian

...And as usual I'm a little slow on the draw.. Sheesh, I thought I was early enough when I saw it had been posted "3 minutes ago"!

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Chunkette

Thank you so much to Wrangellian and Tidgy’s Dad for your quick replies and the information you have supplied. It’s most appreciated. The article you sent a link to about the mountain near my home (Jebel Hafeet) was very useful. I’ll go there again tomorrow to look for sea urchin fossils! 

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Chunkette

I forgot to ask, do you know what the crystals are and why they are there? Is it likely that the inside of the fossil could be filled with crystals and is it possible (or wise) to attempt to open one to have a look. I would hate to damage the fossils if they are valuable to a museum or similar, however if they are common, then should I attempt to chip open one of poorer conditioned shells to have a look inside? (I actually have no idea how to do that, a chisel and hammer?) 

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Tidgy's Dad

The crystals are almost certainly calcite, if they fizz a little when vinegar is applied you can know almost for certain.

I wouldn't break these lovely fossils, myself.:)

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Chunkette

Excellent thank you. I will leave the fossils just as they are in that case. Thank you for your help.

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Tidgy's Dad
1 minute ago, Chunkette said:

Excellent thank you. I will leave the fossils just as they are in that case. Thank you for your help.

:)

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