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I Found A... Thing.

Alisha Peterson

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All the photos below can be seen much larger at http://www.scribblemuse.com/uncategorized/unknown-things/ at least temporarily--it's a quick attempt to just get the photos somewhere and will be hopefully maybe one day finally getting my site in better order. Till then, it's a good storage bin... lol

Hi all... I'll try to provide sufficient info, but please let me know if you need to know anything else. My ignorance is definitely not blissful for those who are trying to help me... lol

This is from my usual collecting spot. Nearly exact coordinates are (44.552268,-90.119029), which is in a small creek in central Wisconsin (Puff Creek). This area is different than the surrounding very flat glacial area, and the creek is filled with MAJOR humongous glacial erratic boulders and about a zillion tons of very pretty and interesting rocks. While I realize that this area is NOT known for fossils--and Wisconsin pretty much sucks if I understand correctly in anything vertebrate related, I keep collecting items that are too strange to completely forget. However, I've been happy with just gathering my pretty rocks, and am using them to hone my skills as I'm an apprentice goldsmith (technically, start date is hopefully in the next week), and I want to get proficient at stone carving as well.

So this turned up for me the other day. I keep thinking it's very much like the end of a long bone, but it's more of a suggestion to the shape that makes me think that, not any particular concrete feature. The weird part for me is the center white area. Since I have the "long bone end" so firmly in my imagination, I keep now calling this the marrow in my mind. It's softer than the surrounding orangish rock, though I'd still not say it's "fresh" if indeed it's organic. It just grinds slightly easier, and I had to be very careful while I was cleaning the thick and regular algae that covered the white area (and it was ONLY on the white area).

So, I again apologize for coming to beg for help with so little contribution. Even the photos may be frustrating, because I was too eager to get photos on here and so took them while I have my "working layer" of light vaseline to help me see features while cleaning and grinding. If so, i will try to get totally dried photos later. So here goes attempting to post the photos:





ALSO, I have some photos of one I found a few years ago, one of my all times favorites and one I have been technically working on "cleaning" for the last few years as well. This one displays the bright orange "ribbony" material that are in a LOT of my finds, but this is the first and only one I've found that displays the "ribbon" in a full and total ring--it looks almost like it should be a bowl. As I started sanding and grinding, I realize I was creating clear windows that displayed inner circle/globe type things or growths. Any help on it would be also very appreciated, though I would assume that all of these are likely geological curiosities, pretty and interesting, but not fossil related--sigh. Still, it will help settle in my mind since every minute I'm working on these and others, I find more "suspicious" things that make me question what I think geological records state.

Thing #2:


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looks like some form of chert or jasper to me.

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"_ Carl Sagen

No trees were killed in this posting......however, many innocent electrons were diverted from where they originally intended to go.

" I think, therefore I collect fossils." _ Me

"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."__S. Holmes

"can't we all just get along?" Jack Nicholson from Mars Attacks

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Welcome to the forum Alisha. :) I'm slightly northwest in Minnesota and you are correct, our fossil record is almost entirely marine invertebrates.

We do however have ancient microbial reefs perfectly preserved as jasper/chert and banded iron formations that are between 2.1 and 1.8 billion years old . The meta-sedimentary siltstone, shale, and mudstone rocks that contain them are red beds. Red chert layers are also common in Cambrian age sandstones.

I think your first thing could be a piece of stromatolite or thrombolite . The red parts are where the original white calcium carbonate have been replaced with silicates.

The second one looks like a gorgeous piece of botryoidal agate.

Here is a great page on stromatolites and stromatoporoids. Most of them are preserved in carbonates, but a few of them are silicates. We don't have the same species. but both of them are found here with the stromatoporoids appearing in the late Cambrian.

Happy hunting!

*edited to remove spelling error.

Edited by Tethys
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Thanks guys! Herb--That seems right in line with the few things I do understand from limited geology study for this area, and I have quite a few pieces of what I DO know are jasper and some chert and/or flinty materials as well that turned out very pretty despite their humble identities. BTW, I am originally from Kentucky, about 45 minutes to an hour south of Louisville right on the Hardin/Larue/Hart County lines in Upton. Growing up there was a rich childhood of at least a million different obvious shell fossils and Civil War artifacts--our farm was actually a camp place for the Battle of Bacon Creek and I'd find ammo and a ton of coins and such just by looking down at the plowed ground. Now living in Wisconsin, I feel like I'm amongst whippersnapper areas, but apparently both the anthropological history is very dated (ie Copper Culture) and the paleontological records are simply too old to be my kind of interesting.

I'll never regret leaving and moving here and I don't miss the people generally. However, it surprised me after my first year away and visiting KY again how homesick I am for the land. The area between Louisville and Lebanon Junction on I65 took my breath away in the sudden memories of the hills and "real" trees and just chaotic environment. Sometimes I could cry for that land.

Tethys: I never thought about the botryoidal agates, but I do have a ton of I assume Lake Superior agates. The coloration in these rock piles in "my" creek is stunning for sure, and there's always at least an agate surprise to be found. :) Last night I also discovered a rock with "lips" in my newest pile... lol I'll take photos of that when I can. Then there are a couple I have that I almost think are actually disgusting. They look like they are a bunch of human teeth kind of cemented together. Interesting for sure, but somehow also gross IMO--I can even pick out what would make a full set of incisors and molars on some, and even the coloration is very like human teeth. I have found a few very lacy traces of what I assume are some plant material as well, but they are best viewed under my stereoscope, where they are very detailed and pretty. I wish they were much larger so that I can prove to my husband that I am not just sitting in the garage staring at rocks and scrubbing them with a toothbrush... lol

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Just based on your location and discription your lacy plants sound like graphtolites, a kind of marine animal.

That's a huge leap on my part though ;)

Edited by Kman100


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I have found a few very lacy traces of what I assume are some plant material as well, but they are best viewed under my stereoscope, where they are very detailed and pretty.

Graptolites are found here as black shiny carbon in rusty orange limestone. If your lacy traces are white they are bryozoa or encrusting calcifying algae.

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