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Stromatolite hunt with a surprise shark tooth!


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Not had a chance to get out hunting much for a while but had a trip out to a new site the other day and found some brand new stuff I wanted to share! Just outside of the little coastal town where I stay in Fife, Scotland there's a Lower Carboniferous stromatolite bed known for its beautiful stromalolite formations in a hard cream colored limestone which can be cut and polished for use in jewelry. This stromatolite bed lies on top of Lower Carboniferous lava's and has been correlated with another, 30m above a bed called the Burdiehouse Limestone which I do a lot of my collecting from. This puts its age somewhere in the late Asbian. These stromatolites grew in a freshwater lake that had formed on cooled lava flows. Its a challenging and dangerous site to collect from on an extremely steep and crumbly wooded slope below cliffs, very quickly though I started to find beautiful fragments of the stromatolite bed as well as a completely weathered out example and lots of split-able limestone with the occasional fish scales, freshwater bivalves and microconchids. The real prize of the day though was a beautiful and perfectly intact Petalodont shark tooth just lying on the surface of a massive block of the stromatolite bed, this stuff is so hard and not bedded at all so the luck involved in this being broken out like this is staggering! Not sure of the ID of the tooth but think it may be a Petalorynchus sp. Its 19mm from the tip of the crown to the end of the extremely long root. 

 

This was the first thing I picked up, a small stromatolite that had weathered out of the formation almost perfectly intact.

 

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A nice block showing the stromatolite formation in cross section.

 

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Some microconchids, the largest are just under 1mm.

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The freshwater Bivalves, Curvirimura scotica I'm told, these are all encrusted by microconchids.

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And finally my favorite find of the day, the tooth! My friend has kindly cut the block down to a more manageable size but I'd like to eventually polish the entire block around the tooth to show off the stromatolite better. 

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13 minutes ago, Archie said:

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This is an odd one.  I'm not as familiar with Paleozoic chondrichthyans as I am with Late Cretaceous-Recent sharks but that looks like some kind of early petalodont.  It could be something like Peripristis or Ageleodus.  I don't have Chondrichthyes 3D (2010) which is a revised edition of Chondrichthyes 1 (1981) from the Handbook of Paleoichthyology series.  That might help you identify the tooth.

 

 

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I have a soft spot for stromatolites--that large banded one would look sweet polished. Please upload images if you manage to get that one buffed up for extra beauty.

 

If you can figure out what type of primitive chondrichthyan that tooth once belonged to and assuming it was found in March, it would make a lovely addition to this month's find in the FOTM topic. ;)

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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13 minutes ago, digit said:

If you can figure out what type of primitive chondrichthyan that tooth once belonged to and assuming it was found in March, it would make a lovely addition to this month's find in the FOTM topic. ;)

I concur! :wub:

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Love the tooth- it looks like a little arm and fist- lol.

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35 minutes ago, Natalie81 said:

Nice report and finds. I love the tooth!

Thank you! :) 

 

17 minutes ago, siteseer said:

 

 

This is an odd one.  I'm not as familiar with Paleozoic chondrichthyans as I am with Late Cretaceous-Recent sharks but that looks like some kind of early petalodont.  It could be something like Peripristis or Ageleodus.  I don't have Chondrichthyes 3D (2010) which is a revised edition of Chondrichthyes 1 (1981) from the Handbook of Paleoichthyology series.  That might help you identify the tooth.

 

 

Chondrichthyes 3D (2010) is high up on my to buy list! Unfortunately there is nothing quite like it in Chondrichthyes 1 (1981) in the Petalodont section, the crown is very similar Ageleodus but the root is very unusual. A couple of years ago I found the impression of an identical tooth at another site less than a mile away that I think may show the lingual side, I think this one is in labial view. I'll dig that impression out.

 

17 minutes ago, digit said:

I have a soft spot for stromatolites--that large banded one would look sweet polished. Please upload images if you manage to get that one buffed up for extra beauty.

 

If you can figure out what type of primitive chondrichthyan that tooth once belonged to and assuming it was found in March, it would make a lovely addition to this month's find in the FOTM topic. ;)

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

Thanks Ken! :D 

I'm hoping to get the large banded one polished soon but a friend has some absolutely stunning polished pieces I'll ask him for some pics. I'll definitely post the tooth in March FOTM if I can ID it!

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7 minutes ago, caldigger said:

I concur! :wub:

 

1 minute ago, Nimravis said:

Love the tooth- it looks like a little arm and fist- lol.

Thanks guys! :D I'm totally in love haha. It really does look like an arm an fist lol, it really reminds me of those big spoons for dishing up spaghetti! Its sigmoidal when viewed from the side, need to get more pics in daylight lol.

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1 minute ago, Archie said:

Thank you! :) 

 

Chondrichthyes 3D (2010) is high up on my to buy list! Unfortunately there is nothing quite like it in Chondrichthyes 1 (1981) in the Petalodont section, the crown is very similar Ageleodus but the root is very unusual. A couple of years ago I found the impression of an identical tooth at another site less than a mile away that I think may show the lingual side, I think this one is in labial view. I'll dig that impression out.

 

Thanks Ken! :D 

I'm hoping to get the large banded one polished soon but a friend has some absolutely stunning polished pieces I'll ask him for some pics. I'll definitely post the tooth in March FOTM if I can ID it!

 

Yeah, those books are expensive.  Even many research libraries don't have the revised editions of those Handbooks (reptiles, various fishes) because their budgets have been cut back so they can't pay $200-300 for any book anymore. 

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54 minutes ago, Archie said:

 

I'm hoping to get the large banded one polished soon but a friend has some absolutely stunning polished pieces I'll ask him for some pics. I'll definitely post the tooth in March FOTM if I can ID it!

I'd put a stromatolite in too - good chance of winning both sections. :)

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35 minutes ago, siteseer said:

 

Yeah, those books are expensive.  Even many research libraries don't have the revised editions of those Handbooks (reptiles, various fishes) because their budgets have been cut back so they can't pay $200-300 for any book anymore. 

It really is a shame how prohibitively expensive they are :( 

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2 hours ago, TqB said:

I'd put a stromatolite in too - good chance of winning both sections. :)

Thanks Tarquin! :)

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I think "unidentified petalodont" would be OK for FOTM for the ID on the tooth.

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5 minutes ago, TqB said:

I think "unidentified petalodont" would be OK for FOTM for the ID on the tooth.

Thanks Tarquin, that's a relief!

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11 minutes ago, Archie said:

Thanks Tarquin! :)

Woops, wrote stromato-poroid instead of -lite. I know the difference, really...:D

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Just now, TqB said:

Woops, wrote stromatopor-oid instead of -ite. I know the difference, really...:D

Haha I certainly don't!

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What's wrong with me this evening! Just had to edit the spellings of the one you just quoted... :wacko::blink::D

 

Anyway, lovely finds and I'll shut up now!

 

 

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You certainly find some nice things @Archie ! That tooth is a great find!

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Tidgy's Dad

Wonderful stromatolite and amazing tooth! 

And I love the microconchids and bivalve too. :D

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2 hours ago, TqB said:

I think "unidentified petalodont" would be OK for FOTM for the ID on the tooth.

Agreed. This would be adequate for the FOTM given the difficulty (and expense) of locating information that might provide a more precise ID.

 

Less than 6 hours remaining before we close this month's FOTM entries.....tick tick tick... ;)

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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