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Bone Fossil Found In Door County Wisconsin


sebarnes

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Hello, Yesterday I stumbled upon an interesting rock for our area. Blackish, roundish, chert like, it stood out from our normal limestone. I thought it would look good in our garden. I washed it off later in the day along with a number of nice clam fossils found in a different spot. During the cleaning process my jaw came unhinged! I was skeptical, but now I am sure I have found a fossilized(agatized?) bone. The piece shows bone structure and porosity. The piece seems to have been fossilized by being half immersed, bone surface is present on one face, bone structure(less smooth face) continues across. Very strong and graphic example of the process of fossilization.

Door County Wisconsin is that thumb part of the state that juts out into Lake Michigan. Geologically we are on the Niagra Escarpement which is a peninsula of dolomitic limestone. Corals and clams are common fossils. Our peninsula exists due to an interlobate position during the last glaciation. The glacial till this piece was found in is near the Green Bay glacial track.

I believe this to be a significant find for our area. I would appreciate guidance in how to best identify this piece. I am starting here as I believe your opinions and expertise will help bring this piece to light. Thank You! Scott

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Sorry, but this doesn't appear to be bone at all. :unsure:

Looks like maybe chert or flint.

Not seeing any bone-like structure.

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Yeah, I'm not really getting a fossil bone vibe; I think it's geologic, rather than biologic.

You are in a very beautiful area!

"There has been an alarming increase in the number of things I know nothing about." - Ashleigh Ellwood Brilliant

“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” - Thomas Henry Huxley

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It looks to me like weathered mudstone or sandstone, it's a bit clumpy for chert.

Welcome neighbor! Hopefully I'll be coming up soon to track down some micro matrix from Sturgeon Bay!

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Thanks for the comments so far. My desire to believe its something other than a rock is tempered by my skepticism that it is just a rock. Cmon up to beautiful Door County! Its a beautiful place and my wife and I own a motel up here. Maybe the pictures are not doing the piece justice. I hope to have it physically examined, any ideas on getting that process started? Thanks, Scott

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I would agree that it is not a fossil. The rock exposed in Door County is primarily Silurian aged dolostone. It is loaded with fossils but unfortunately no bones.

Best of luck collecting!

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agreed, the dissolution feature (rusty pockets) sure does give it the porous look of bone and can see how it could be mistaken for such

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Thanks for all the comments so far. Today I took it to the largest quarry in northern door for some opinions. First impression was this is a stone brought here by the glaciers, not normally found in door county. Second was "kinda looks like some weird shale". Thirdly was the porosity referred to above resembling bone structure, "that could be bone off a pretty big critter".

Given that this piece was found in a region submerged as Silurian sea, its very make-up is unlike our native stone. This is what made it stand out as a blackish rock with one side prone to sharp chert like flakes. I thought it could be a source rock for arrowheads. Cleaning it exposed its (for lack of a better descriptive phrase for now) bone-like surfaces, and a pattern of porosity consistent with(for lack of a better phrase) bone-like structure. I appreciate very much the observations and opinions as they come up. I am carrying this piece in my truck asking opinions of others up here as to their thoughts. I will, at some point, contact someone from the University system for help, but now am very curious as to what others are seeing in the pictures of this (in my opinion) unique rock or ? Thank You Again!, Scott

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Another vote for interesting rock.....Don't see the characteristics of bone.

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I know this is a Fossil Forum, but can chert be confused with fossilized or agatized bone? Those that have a geology background have said that I have a unique piece of dinosaur bone, UNTIL, I tell them I found it here in Door County, on the Niagra Escarpment, then it can't be.

Formations within limestone occasionally produce chert nodules? Glaciation, degredation and weathering affecting a chert nodule may have acted to produce this interesting piece? I didn't know that chert nodules were to be found here, but it would be a good source for arrowheads. Evidence of the piece still has very strong bone-like tendencies.

Interesting, Scott

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Your piece may have some "bone like tendencies" but is lacking many bone like features. I must vote for geologic...a rock.

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Thanks for all the comments so far. Today I took it to the largest quarry in northern door for some opinions. First impression was this is a stone brought here by the glaciers, not normally found in door county. Second was "kinda looks like some weird shale". Thirdly was the porosity referred to above resembling bone structure, "that could be bone off a pretty big critter".

Given that this piece was found in a region submerged as Silurian sea, its very make-up is unlike our native stone. This is what made it stand out as a blackish rock with one side prone to sharp chert like flakes. I thought it could be a source rock for arrowheads. Cleaning it exposed its (for lack of a better descriptive phrase for now) bone-like surfaces, and a pattern of porosity consistent with(for lack of a better phrase) bone-like structure. I appreciate very much the observations and opinions as they come up. I am carrying this piece in my truck asking opinions of others up here as to their thoughts. I will, at some point, contact someone from the University system for help, but now am very curious as to what others are seeing in the pictures of this (in my opinion) unique rock or ? Thank You Again!, Scott

Blackish rock can be a clast - or other rock that is geologically imposed onto the original material.

Take a look at this link of different clasts; http://0.tqn.com/d/geology/1/0/w/l/1/rounding-pictures.jpg

Edited by Roadrunner
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Thank You Roadrunner for your post and link. There is a consistency of the piece that does not lend itself to a clast. It has the feeling of being half submerged during its post-formation existence. I am dragging myself over to the side of geologic due to the fact that there is no definitive marrow, or central differentiation that I would assume a true bone would pass on to its fossilized or agatized form. I am glad to discuss what this piece is not, I am happy to discuss what this piece is and a clast specimen is a start in that direction. Thank You!! Scott

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I agree as well - just a rock (I've found a lot of bone in my life, and unfortunately it just doesn't fit that category, not to mention where it was found), but even rocks need nice warm homes, especially during those snowy Wisconsin winters! If you still feel it's a bone, take a few nice and detailed large pics (2-3 from each angle, normal and close-up) and send them to any one of the Paleontologists at the field Museum here in Chicago. They are always very knowledgeable, and quite helpful - you'll get the most professional answer you can possibly get.

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