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From a flat of specimens identified as from Pit 11.  Three dimensional.  Small leaf? Thanks!







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Mark Kmiecik

Hi, nice to meet you. 


Not a leaf, although it may be plant matter or animal, or even only geological in origin. As you've probably figured out, it seems to run the length of the concretion and we are viewing a 45-degree cross-section of whatever it is. The outer surface is not visible so identification of this specimen will probably not be possible. The concretion may have formed around a soft-bodied creature and not preserved any internal features or just an organic blob of some kind, like tree sap, that fell to the bottom. Unless the matrix can removed from around at least part of the length of the specimen identification is not likely. I don't know if this has ever been attempted let alone successfully done with a Mazon Creek specimen. Further attempts at freeze/thaw or hammering will more than likely reveal only additional cross-sectional views, although there appears to be a decent crack at the other end and if tapping that enough to separate reveals the end of the specimen instead of a cross-section it may give us a clue of what it is. 


In my experience, concretions of this type of "angled layering" have not been very productive, except for clams and most often those do not crack without damaging the specimen.


The other thought I have when looking at this is that it may have multiple layers of similar items along its length. I'm not absolutely certain if I'm seeing one long object or lots of flat-ish disc-shaped objects.

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