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I would rather identify most any fossil other than petrified wood! Not a botanist, so when I referred to my ancient copies of Gems & Mineral magazines from March to August of 1960 and read Virginia Page's "How to Identify Fossil Wood", I got lost in a hurry. I'm trying to identify wood from the Cretaceous in Southeast Missouri at Crowley's Ridge. I have a polished cross-section image and am hoping someone can identify it for my fossil database. I don't have a longitudinal section, but could do one if that is necessary.

10077_4.jpg

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Perhaps a specimen image will help...

10077_1.jpg

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Yes, I'd seen it before, but most of what you suggested is a bit technical. Admittedly, I'm probably looking for a illustrated guide - I'm a visual person.... But I thank you for the references!

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Thomas.Dodson
49 minutes ago, Caverat said:

Yes, I'd seen it before, but most of what you suggested is a bit technical. Admittedly, I'm probably looking for a illustrated guide - I'm a visual person.... But I thank you for the references!

It's unfortunate but when it comes to wood the technical way (thin-sectioning and identifying cell structure under the scope) is often the only way. Even if you put in the effort to prepare these sectioned specimens the identification is also going to rely upon the cell structure being well preserved.

 

I doubt particular illustrated guides like you want exist. These guides are rare enough for popular fossils and specific sites, let alone something most people won't even try to identify because of the extreme difficulty, like wood. The references that Paleoflor listed in the thread Top Trilo mentioned are better than I would have thought would exist online and probably the best you'll get.

 

On 1/2/2021 at 5:22 AM, paleoflor said:

Certainly no expert on the subject, but the following resources might be helpful:

I really like Hoadley's (1990) Identifying wood: Accurate results with simple tools. This book deals with modern woods, but the basic principles also apply to fossil woods and are explained well here. The InsideWood database is a free and useful online search engine containing both extant and fossil wood types. Another great resource is the International Association of Wood Anatomists (IAWA). Especially the IAWA lists for softwood and hardwood identification are very useful.

 

 

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Peat Burns

With that conspicuously banded axial parenchyma, compare with genus Ulmus.

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Thanks to all for their comments! I will pursue these avenues and see if I can make a determination to assign some identification.

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paleoflor
9 hours ago, Peat Burns said:

With that conspicuously banded axial parenchyma, compare with genus Ulmus.

I agree. This is clearly a ring-porous hardwood. The vessel arrangement in the latewood looks ulmiform, i.e. the vessels are arranged in wavy tangential bands. This may indeed point to genera like Ulmus. There will undoubtedly be more candidates, though, such as certain species of Celtis. Perhaps it is worthwhile to look for locality-specific literature to help narrow down the number of possibilities. How firm is the age constraint? This may also help...

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paleoflor - Thanks! I've always thought of the Crowley's Ridge in southeast Missouri (and way south!) to be Cretaceous, but there are accounts of Eocene, Miocene and Pleistocene as well. Judging from the preservation of the wood, I'd eliminate Pleistocene. The Eocene is the Wilcox Group which is a clay with known fossil wood is a good possibility. Now to learn which woods are found there.

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paleoflor
1 hour ago, Caverat said:

paleoflor - Thanks! I've always thought of the Crowley's Ridge in southeast Missouri (and way south!) to be Cretaceous, but there are accounts of Eocene, Miocene and Pleistocene as well. Judging from the preservation of the wood, I'd eliminate Pleistocene. The Eocene is the Wilcox Group which is a clay with known fossil wood is a good possibility. Now to learn which woods are found there.

A Cenozoic age for hardwoods only widens the scope, I'm afraid... Hopefully you'll be able to find some locality-specific literature that might help you further.

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