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Fossil ID: Bison Horn?


Birm171

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Hi TFF, thanks for having me.  I frequently find fossils all over the Las Vegas area, but usually things that came from the sea: shells, small organisms, coral. On one of my last outings, I found this horn.  I find many Rugosa, coral horns, in the exposed limestone on the peaks around Mt. Charleston area. This example looks very different to me.  

 

It is about 8 inches, 20cm long, and is very heavy, like stone and rock.  It appears to me that the outer shell "horn" is partially intact, though long turned to rock.  The core is a different texture and color as well.  It was found on an exposed limestone ridge a mile or two south of Charleston Peak, ~11,000 ft elevation, partially buried in scree.  

 

My first thought was it was some sort of tusk from a sea animal, due to other sea fossils in the area.  The bison examples I compared it to on the web could be a match to my untrained eye, but none of them to be as "petrified" or stone-like as this one.  

 

I thought I'd share, as it seems like a rare find for the area.

20190910_150231.jpg

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Always difficult when trying to make an assessment purely from photos but to me this looks like the result of geological instead of biological processes and the resemblance to a horn (bison or otherwise) may be just coincidence. Tony is probably busy digging out at his claim but we'll see if he chimes in when he's back at his computer. @ynot

 

 

Welcome to the forum! Lots of great info (and members) to be found here.

 

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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Welcome to the Forum. :) 

 

Sorry, but I agree, I see no evidence of bone or keratin. No textures, other than rock.  

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Sorry, the pictures aren't great.  It feels as if it's either heavily petrified, or like you said, just a neat rock ;) I'll see if I can take a video of it tonight so you can have a fair shot at it.  Its hard to see in the pictures but there seems to be a hollow horn shaped "shell" that has been filled with minerals. The shell is about a quarter inch thick all the way around the circumference.  

 

I appreciate your help, bummer though.  Ill hang on to it and see if I can find someone here in Vegas to look at it for a 2nd chance. 

 

Thanks again!  

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Keratin doesn't survive as a fossil.  I don't see a horn core either.

 

For comparison:

 

 

bison_cow_horn_A.JPG

bison_cow_horn_B.JPG

bison_horn_core_B.JPG

bison_horn_core_C.JPG

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There is no sign of keratin, like you are saying.  I searched for more horn coral images and im fairly confident it is rugosa, a horn shaped coral.  Thanks for setting me straight! Ill see what else I can find for you out here.

 

 

 

Screenshot_2019-09-10-18-28-11~2.png

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There are no septa, growth lines, etc. 

This is just a sediment filled geologic wonder. :) 

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Yup. You are definitely onto something with those last two. I really like the cluster in the second one.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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Agreed. The last two are corals. The first appears to be a cool rock, which I think is neat enough to keep on my geological/non-fossil shelf. ;) 

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Nice finds including the really cool coral-shaped rock in the first photo. I would have collected that one too.

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