Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sea Biscuit Odds


A lucky sperm meets egg in a shallow sea millions of years ago.
Or is it lucky egg?
Cell division.
Differentiation ... but not too much.
A larva drifting, cilia beating ...not too long though.
Transformation to benthic body.
A year or so of detritus sucking life.
Creeping, burrowing, avoiding.
Death.
Soft parts go first.
Spines detach.
Mud oozes into spaces once tissue filled.
Time.
One, Two, Three ...? million years buried in limey mud.
Mud becomes rock.
The sea retreats.
Dynamite shatters limerock.
Excavating equipment rumbles.
Scoop, dump, transport.
Rock grinder groans and crushes.
Rock to gravel.
More scooping and dumping.
Dumptrucks rumble.
Dumping.
Front end loader spreads and grades.
Roller flattens.
Sifty sand road becomes stable gravel road.
Walker walks.
Looks down and finds ...
a perfect fossil.
Wonders ...
at the odds.

18 comments:

Susan Rose said...

WOW! I want one too! But I guess the odds are against that happening.

Anonymous said...

Heavy man, heavy.


Patti

Freste said...

Indeed. When I go tidepooling, I think zactly the same. Nice find.

rick said...

the rr uses limerock for ballast around some tracks, there are thousands of pieces of corral and whole clams, with a little paint they look so perfect one might try to open one for bait

Cathy S. said...

A poet, did you know it?

threecollie said...

Miss Sarah N strikes again.

Kimberlee said...

This is really wonderful!

robin andrea said...

Don't you just love when that happens. That critter waited three million years to wind up in your hands. Ah, home.

edifice rex said...

Wonderful!
Wordplay great!

Kevin Zelnio said...

Excellent! My labmate brought me back a sea biscuit from phosphate mines in North Carolina, near Wilmington. Tons of urchins there.

Thunder Dave said...

Ok, if you take the total number of sea biscuits reproduced in 1 year, multiplied by the number of years they were reproducing, devide that by the number of shovels of material it take to build the road + the number of people walking that road, and you should get your odds! ;-)

As of today 16 days and a wake-up!

Miz S said...

Never boring here at Pure Florida.

Never.

Doug Taron said...

I was expecting a post about a horse.

Deb said...

Good find! And your commentary really puts it in perspective.

Paintsmh said...

Too cool!

Ericka said...

very neat.

the phosphate mine closed to the public after 9/11, but the aurora fossil musuem maintains a large sandbox type affair where you can dig to your hearts content. it's where i go to collect my teeny tiny teeth!

Floridacracker said...

Thanks Y'all. I sat down Sunday morning without a clue as to what to post,started looking for a picture for motivation, and found that shot.

Couture de Papier said...

Beautiful photos and blog.