Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Concretionary fun

There was a recent article in the Colorado Springs Gazette about fellow paleoblogger Anthony and his adventures in concretion land. As anyone who has ever had the pleasure of identifying fossils for the public we all know for every real fossil someone brings in you usually get a barrel full of concretions that people also brought in. I have found that having separate concretion and fossil examples that you can show to the public helps them to understand what they have and why it is not a dinosaur egg/heart/eye, fish, plesiosaur paddle, turtle, ect......sometimes it is an easy mistake to make, especially when you do not see fossils on a daily basis. Some of these concretions can be pretty cool looking and are interesting rocks/minerals on their own (without needing to pretend to be a fossil). And there are usually some pretty interesting storied that accompany most concretions.

I thought I would share some of the fun items we have in our lab that have been brought in and donated over the years:

Not sure what someone thought this one could be.

A variety of "eggs and/or turtles"


"Its a ceratopsian horn!" - No, its not. Sadly.

And this one is not a concretion, but I threw it in to see if anyone is paying attention. Any guesses on what it is (and there are at least two people out there who better know this):


© ReBecca K. Hunt-Foster

13 comments:

Tor Bertin said...

In Ingomar (Eastern Montana), they have a bar that has assorted fossils and fake fossils collected from the area.

My personal favorite has been a large collection of mud that fell off a cow's foot labeled 'Dinosaur Egg'.

Tor Bertin said...

On a slightly less pretentious note, I very much agree with the need to educate people about concretions--most I've met tend to be very understanding about it.

Especially to the untrained eye, they can be really deceiving.

Jazinator said...

Which one are we guessing on, the last one or the second to last?

Andy said...

It's always a little sad to have to tell someone that their "treasure" isn't a fossil. . .particularly if it was handed down for a generation or two. On the other hand, it's also frustrating when you get the person who doesn't believe you when told that that dinosaur egg is "just" a rock!

ReBecca Foster said...

The last picture Jim.

I agree Andy. I have had some pretty crazy things with wild stores brought in over the years.

BJ & Lori Nicholls said...

Speaking of seeing creatures in random stones, are you familiar with the Halletstonian Sea Zoria? ;-)

http://hszoria.com/

ReBecca Foster said...

Oh yes I am! Lucky for us we have not had to tell him the truth yet.

Lockwood said...

That one on the lower right in "eggs and/or turtles" would have thrown me, though it's much easier to tell first-hand. I know my invert paleo very, very well, as I took the intro class five times (true story- I despised the prof), but I have no idea what I'm looking at in the last picture.

Antagonist Jason said...

The last one is ankimo, I think. It's a delicacy.

ReBecca Foster said...

LOL Jason. Good guess though! ;)

Tor Bertin said...

Is that central stuff limestone matrix? The outer ring looks like some kind of bone material; but either way it's really quite bizarre.

If only it were in 3d, it would be confusing in three dimensions instead. ;-)

ReBecca Foster said...

Not limestone, but it is matrix and bone....what kind of bone? in 3d it can make your brain hurt. Weird weird weird

Dr. Vector said...

This madness has gone on long enough! The last photo is a shard of excellence (i.e., a cut and polished chunk of a pneumatic sauropod vert). Stand by for bigging up on SV-POW!