Archive for April 22nd, 2010

I suppose I ought to have a category labeled “rocks”.   But I don’t.  This is in response to interest expressed by sundry commenters in previous posts regarding the fossils which have found their way to my home.

Many of them I have found myself.   But it is surprising how people will give you fossils when they find out that you like them, and don’t consider piles of rocks in your house to be a nuisance.   A few of the pieces of my collection were in an old case that was designed to carry around 45 rpm records (remember them???) that was in a box that my mother purchased at an auction.   She was actually interested in a jar of antique clothespins that was in the box, but when she opened the red plastic case and found beautiful crystals, mineral specimins and fossils within she immediately brought it to me, her rock crazy daughter.   Believe it or not, I am NOT the daughter who majored in geology and anthropology in college; that would be my older sister.

So.   Here are a few of my treasures.

The first one was a gift from my college room mate, who lives in Germany.   It is a fossilized sea urchin which was collected by her and her husband on the shore of the North Sea.

This one was a gift from my gold smith friend, Doug Feakes, who found this in Montana.   It is a fern imprint on shale.

Another gift, this one from the father of one of my piano students.   He collected many of these sorts of fossils on his property near Mountain Grove, MO.   I have no idea what this intriguing animal was.

Next we have a few brachiopods.   The ones in matrix were in the above mentioned box, the nice big one came from Sue just the other day.

She also gave me a wonderful selection of fossilized shark’s teeth.   The shell they are in also contains mouth plates and stingers from an ancient sting ray.

She also gave me all the fossilized shells that are contained in this shell.   If you look closely, you can see that several of the ones at the front of this grouping have been silicated (that means the shell matrix has been replaced with silica crystals).

This oyster shell could not go out into the garden, it was way too cool.   How you manage to become fossilized and still keep your halves together but separatable is a mystery to me.  The second shot of this pair shows the oyster shell opened up.   The one just to the left also opens into its two halves.  Just behind this pair of shells you can see a wad of fossilized worm tubes

This is a commercial fossil, purchased at a rock show.   This is a cephalopod, now extinct, called Trilacinoceras hunanense, which was collected in China.   This lived during the Ordovician Period, approximately 460 million years ago.  Usually you do not find the long extension of the shell intact, so this is a very cool fossil indeed.

This next photo is of a grouping that lives on top of the computer desk.   The nautiloid on the right was a gift from England, collected there in Surrey.   The two on the right came from Sue from her excavations in florida.   The long pointed one is an extinct Murex, the one on the right is a Euphorba.   Apparently, the Euphorbas are quite uncommon.   She tells me that whenever anyone at the excavation found one you could tell because of all of the euphoric screaming that went along with the unearthing of one.  (Perhaps that accounts for the name?)

The next one is a fossil I found myself in Costa Rica 13 years ago.   We walked up to a waterfall, and this fossil imprint of a clam shell in a hardened pyroclastic flow was just winking at me from the stream bed there.  It is resting on a piece of petrified wood I purchased in Arkansas a few years ago.   I had to get it because it looked so much like a log, and it rests by our wood stove.   So far no one has tried to put it in to burn.

The last pair of shots I am including are of a fossilized beach.   I found this piece on a gravel bar on the Niangua River a couple of years ago.   I was attracted to the wave form on the side that faced me.

But what was really cool was what was on the other side of the rock.   Many fossilized worm trails are preserved forever here.

I hope you have enjoyed this tour through some of my fossils, and hope you come back for the next tour, which will be skulls and bones.

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