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SteveK

Found in West Virginia, help identify please

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SteveK

Novice to identifying fossils, if there's a lower rung on the knowledge scale it would probably be more applicable. Found this about 30cm deep in north central West Virginia about 12 miles south of Cumberland MD. Our yard is about 10cm of topsoil and at least a meter of hard packed shale (that's as far down as I've had the pleasure of digging for my projects). I've found other similar items but this one split to show the interior which caught my interest.

IMG_1904.jpg

IMG_1906.jpg

IMG_1897.jpg

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ynot

Welcome to TFF!

Looks like a piece of a concretion, not a fossil.

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Mark Kmiecik

Not any fossil to see, but I do see what looks like a crack. I would be tempted to give it a few taps with a hammer to split it open.

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Rockwood

I think the odds of it being a fossil are actually pretty good.

Identifying it as such could prove to be problematic though.

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Plantguy

Yep welcome to the forum! Thats another interesting unknown.

I'm torn...does look concretionary but it seems to have some interesting internal structures that make me wonder about an organic origin. Can you wet the surface with water and take another photo of these areas I've highlighted...sometimes that shows more detail..looking to see what those grainy looking areas are....I'd like to see a shot of the exterior/an overall shape as well if thats possible. Looking for patterns on the outside as well. 

5d23194ae74b6_WestVirginiaunknown.thumb.jpg.fb066048de3605ad9f4867e4daaa9c65.jpg

I have these two examples of plant material and maybe there is some similarities...maybe I'm seeing things in your sample where they arent...the others can attest I see things alot that arent always there...

 

5d231804049c2_CoalBallPittsburgPennsylvania1.thumb.jpg.882dc5bae821714d770b180ff25dbf46.jpg

5d231853d4712_PsaroniusIndiana2.thumb.jpg.0e5ed52f88b5a92903cfdce7cb2f3dbb.jpg

Thanks for making me wonder...Cool sample...

 

Regards, Chris 

Edited by Plantguy
added photo

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Plax
5 hours ago, Rockwood said:

I think the odds of it being a fossil are actually pretty good.

Identifying it as such could prove to be problematic though.

I'm with Rockwood. Doesn't look like a concretion to me unless you consider the rock a concretion surrounding the unidentifiable fossil.

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SteveK

Plantguy,

Hope these are helpful. The two shots of the interior and 4 exterior. Plus one of something else I found in the same area if it helps, possibly identify a period in time (img_1907)?

Something else, these were only about a foot deep in my yard but I do not know what the original contour of the land was before the lot was prepared and the house built. May have been originally deeper than 30 cm. Looking at the surrounding hillside, may have been 3m of of soil (rock!) removed to prep the lot.

Appreciate your interest and sharing your knowledge.

 

 

img_1944.jpg

img_1907.jpg

img_1958.jpg

img_1959.jpg

img_1955.jpg

img_1954.jpg

img_1951.jpg

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Mark Kmiecik
On 7/8/2019 at 5:34 PM, SteveK said:

img_1959.jpg

When you do this, put a piece of tissue or thin sheet of packing foam in between the halves so they don't abrade each other. That's what I do with my Mazon Creek concretions and it prevents damage during handling and transportation.

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SteveK

Thanks Mark. I've got others similar that came apart, but none split in half like this one. Will do that with all.

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Plantguy

Hey Steve, thanks for the additional photos! Quite the nice brachiopods-fantastic colors! 

I'm not seeing anything plant like in the new photos that I was wondering about so I think we are back to a simple concretion as Tony said. A drop or two of vinegar on an inconspicuous spot and having it bubble/fizz could tell us if it is calcareous or not...rinse off afterwards so as not to stain it. The better lighting/photos seem to highlight some mineralization that has taken place that I was trying to turn into a plant texture. The fact that you now showed us the brachs with a similar coloration from the same general area still makes me wonder if there is still some fossil origin for your unknown.  Someone may be able tell you more looking at in hand or under a scope. 

 

Neat samples! Continued hunting success....

Regards, Chris 

 

 

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Plantguy

A quick followup...got some feedback to share from an expert contact in West Virginia after a review of some of the photo closeups.......

 

I believe there is (or was) a fossil in the center of the nodule in the photos.  I think I see indications of the central portion of a spirally coiled, spherical shell.  I believe that this is a mold of a large gastropod . . . or, a slight possibility that this was a coiled cephalopod.  However, I don’t see any indications of partitions between chambers so gastropod has a better chance of being correct. 

 

The brachiopod is unusual in that it has been preserved opened up with both valves preserved.  Brachiopods usually close up tight at death and are found that way as fossils.  The brachiopod is a spiriferid.  Can’t be more specific about genus and species because there are a zillion spiriferids that have similar looking valves – I’d suggest that it is either Devonian or Mississippian in age.

 

Regards, Chris 

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SteveK

Chris, Would you like a first hand look at both of them? I'll send them to you.

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Plantguy
On 7/23/2019 at 6:24 PM, SteveK said:

Chris, Would you like a first hand look at both of them? I'll send them to you.

Hey Steve, I sent you a pm msg. 

Regards, Chris 

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Reese the Rockhound

I have seen lots of Hematite concretions, and I doubt that's what this is.  Its possible that this is a Trigonocarpus fruit.

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SteveK

Reese,

That fits in with some other things I found in the same area. Look like rather large seeds. I'll post a few photos as soon as I get a chance.

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