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Misha

Algae anomaly

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Misha

Hello everyone,

I had recievrd this as a part of set of many fossils a few years ago as a gif, it was labeled as an algae fossil and the piece is very interesting but I am not sure what it is and what the age could be, one side is very glossy while the other is partially so, the glossy side has very interesting coloration and I am unsure of what it could be a mineral or a part of the fossil, the other side has some staining which could also be the fossil I am really not sure but another very unique thing about this is that y

the side of the rock has almost a fiberous look with lines running up the specimen.

The ruler provided is in inches,

Thank you very much.

IMG_20190511_163007.jpg

IMG_20190511_163000.jpg

IMG_20190511_162924.jpg

IMG_20190511_163039.jpg

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Tidgy's Dad

I have a smaller but similar specimen which also came in a fossil collection decades ago.

Mine was listed as "Fossil Algae" but had the location " Marjum Fm. Millard County, Utah" and was listed as Cambrian Period. 

I only have a couple of photos just now, but some of the sides look exactly like your second photo. 

Algae.thumb.jpg.f0f4466fa013dd68215858ca61a8ec4c.jpg

Algae1.thumb.jpg.507fdb257f2a3d43498b4eb03e776a48.jpg

 

 

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Misha
2 hours ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

Marjum Fm. Millard County, Utah

Tried looking this up but have been unsuccessful so far, these things are quite interesting.

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ynot

It looks like a piece of a vein of selenite, variety satin spar.

How hard is it?

Can You separate some pieces and picture them?

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Tidgy's Dad
3 minutes ago, Misha said:

Tried looking this up but have been unsuccessful so far, these things are quite interesting.

I know of the Marjum Formation, it's famous for trilobites, has some algae, cyanobacteria etc, but nothing like this that I can find. 

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Tidgy's Dad
3 minutes ago, ynot said:

It looks like a piece of a vein of selenite, variety satin spar.

How hard is it?

Can You separate some pieces and picture them?

I'll do a hardness test tomorrow if I remember, but it's definitely harder than selenite. 

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ynot
2 minutes ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

I'll do a hardness test tomorrow if I remember, but it's definitely harder than selenite. 

I was referring to Misha's piece. 

Yours does not look like selenite.

 

Also, the algees I have seen from the marjoram and wheeler formations look more like prints of simple seaweed.

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Misha
17 minutes ago, ynot said:

It looks like a piece of a vein of selenite, variety satin spar.

How hard is it?

Can You separate some pieces and picture them?

It scratches selenite easily but can't scratch fluorite, I would say the hardness is 3 it is possible that it is calcite.

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Wrangellian

I have a piece almost identical yours, @Tidgy's Dad, from one of those same fossil collections from years ago, and wondered the same thing. I had the same suspicion as ynot, of yours, Misha's and mine, as I've never seen any form of algae anywhere else that was reminiscent of selenite/satin spar (the only other thing that comes close is Inoceramus shell). Apparently the trilobites from Tanglefoot Creek BC are often sandwiched between layers of this stuff, with hints of the trilo visible on both sides in at least one specimen I have (sorry no pic handy) which seems to indicate crystalline growth away from the exoskeleton.

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Misha
4 hours ago, Wrangellian said:

reminiscent of selenite/satin spar

It does look somewhat similar to selenite but it is very different from it in hardness.

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Misha
12 hours ago, ynot said:

Can You separate some pieces and picture them?

I tapped the piece with a hammer and was able to separate it into three chunks, the cross sections look just like on the piece that Tidgy's Dad has while the side that had already been separated had richer coloration and was more glossy, possible that it was coated in something.

IMG_20190512_094901.jpg

IMG_20190512_094836.jpg

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Misha
5 hours ago, Wrangellian said:

reminiscent of selenite/satin spar

 

12 hours ago, ynot said:

selenite, variety satin spar.

I just placed the smallest piece in acid and it instantly started to bubble, so this is probably calcite.

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UtahFossilHunter
2 hours ago, Misha said:

probably calcite.

Reminds me of fibrous calcite

220px-Krokydolith_-_Mineralogisches_Muse

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UtahFossilHunter
On 5/11/2019 at 7:42 PM, ynot said:

It looks like a piece of a vein of selenite, variety satin spar.

That’s what I thought as well when I saw it but calcite can occur in a similar fibrous crystal habit like selenite does and matches the hardness test @Misha conducted.

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Wrangellian

OK, then calcite it is I guess, and probably those fossil collections were not put together by the best experts. I wonder who put them together and how they come to identify that stuff as algae.. Are we looking at some sort of calcareous algae, recrystallized maybe? Just a guess, I don't know enough about that sort of thing, but I'm more curious now...

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