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OregonFossil

So I have found a significant "load" of mostly bivalves in a very deep water mudstone. This mudstone is very hard, when it fractures it is a lot like obsidian, extremely sharp and extremely hard. The specimen in this image is 3 x 5mm. The calcium shell has very little identifiable structures, yet the cast part seems "fair" crisp. If the shell was removed perhaps shell parts would be shown in the cast for ID. Would you remove the shell (if so how? acidic acid?). Any ideas on how to soften this mudstone, it is as hard but not as brittle as any shale I have seen. G picks don't see to do anything but an 8 pound sledge works:(

 

Imaging done with a Panasonic G9 and Olympus 60mm macro lens using focus stacking.

Cast1mmbivalve.jpg

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Thomas.Dodson

Based on the current separation of the shell layer and the cast I bet it would flake off easily enough in pieces with a light touch from a scribe or, low tech, a nail and a little force from a hammer. As for identification unless you have a good idea of what's to be found here it would be hit or miss. If there are many similar species at the site then this cast won't be enough since you would likely end up having to rely on umbonal features or hingement. If it can be identified without those you can probably tell what it is from what is already exposed so it is up to you if you want to remove the shell or not. I probably wouldn't bother removing the shell myself but if ID is taken out of the equation then it's what you aesthetically prefer.

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OregonFossil

I do have lots of info on the bi-valves found in the Keasey, so perhaps I will flake it off. Got one small piece off but the other stuff seems tight. Thanks for the input.

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