Thursday, June 15, 2006

Fossil Puzzler

Below are 3 views of the same fossil.
I did not think to include a size reference item in the pictures, but you should know the fossil is about 8 inches long and 3-4 inches wide.
It was bigger once, but I took it to school to show the kids...and you know how that goes...naughty rascals
It came out of a shallow lime rock pit and probably only dates back to the Eocene.

I won't be near a computer until late afternoon at the earliest, but I will post an answer ( ...and check yours) at that time.

Good luck.
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sattvicwarrior said...

ok WHAT is it???????
thanks for sharing

Wayne said...

Right now, the Eocene and Miocene are my favorite periods! The continents and ocean currents are close enough to our time to be able to make interesting comparisons about climate.

I'm just gonna jump right out here and make a fool of myself and say that's a copralite. Fossilized turds. Can't say who made that turd, though.

(Even if it isn't, I'm fascinated by them. We have a faculty member here who studies fossilized dinosaur turds. Not that there were any dinosaurs around at the time of that particular fossil.)

Thunder Dave said...

I'm going to say a Chambered Nautilus!

John Cowart said...

Looks like a coprolite to me.

roger said...

thank you wayne. my first thought too, though i couldn't recall the technical term.

oh my, now i see the possibility of a chambered nautilus too.


pablo said...

Does this mean there won't be a quiz on Friday? Or a tougher one?

Wayne said...

hmmm, chambered nautilus does sound good. Maybe that's what was for dinner!

(Ammonites would have been extinct by the Eocene, right?)

Mrs. S said...

It's a fancy plate of nicely-placed sliced-apples that got left too long somewhere and became a fossil.

At least, that's the only thing it looks like to me.

Clearly, I am the best guesser EVER!

threecollie said...

My guess is the same as Thunder Dave. Looks just like a nautilus. Pretty.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

It looks like a turd, but I'd say it's a bone.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

It's a dung beetle's collection. Right?

Floridacracker said...

It's a fossil cast of some type of nautiloid. The surface limerock here in the Pure Florida region was deposited in the Eocene, so it's at least several million years old. Picture a nautilus shell sinking, filling with limey mud and then time hardening the mud even as the shell fades away. It really looks like the inside of a modern nautilus, pretty darn cool find if I do say so myself.

"Did you know...

Nautiluses first appeared about 500 million years ago during the Cambrian Explosion—they were jet-propelling themselves through ancient seas 265 million years before dinosaurs inhabited the Earth. Nautiluses are described as living fossils because they have remained virtually unchanged for millions of years."
That's from the National Zoo site.

As for coprolites, what is it with college professors and dino poop?
Dr. Coling at UWF had a big coprolite on his desk back when he was my advisor.

Thanks for guessing, and ThunderDave, ya done good. Have a beer! if you needed an excuse.

Okay, I'm trying to figure out that picture...Welcome to Pure Florida, glad you commented!

Still a good guess tho. I'm not sure when the ammonites went out, but I'm always astounded at the giant ammonite model at UF's musuem. Scary big.

Are you looking on Wayne's paper?

it's a corsair dilemma.

Mrs. S,
You win the creativity prize.

Good work detective.

Neither turd nor bone this time.

No, but I had one once.
I'm not kidding.
Another day, another post.

Did you catch the cryptic clue up in the post? I was trying to be more like you. Scary thought.
...oh, and you forgot to guess.