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Author Topic: How Does A Fossil Splitter Know Where To Split The Fossil ?  (Read 8329 times)

Offline neilep

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As A Sheepy I am of course a fine collector of fossils. Yep...collecting fossils is the first and last thing I think of during the day.  Fossils are my all time favourite old things that are remains and  impressions of ex-living things from a former geologic age.



Will ewe take a look at this beauty !



A Fossil Earlier Today !


Nice eh ?

Being delivered next Tuesday.


Fossils are like well inside pieces of rock and stuff so how do fossil finders know where to split the rock/slate/what ever so that the fossil is revealed in the right place ?

What about the fossil above ?..would that have been entombed in rock somewhere ?

So, what is the science behind the revelation of fossils ?



As a firm believer in empirical study I wanted to cleft my own rock  so I snuk into my neighbours house at 3am this morning and he was most compliant as he allowed me to chloroform him and then lay him in a bed of cement. I was optimistic for success because my neighbour is like...well old !..and as ewe know fossils are also very old...even older than 100 years and that is ancient in the extreme !
Anyway,  as ewe can see........




................ he is trying to make a quick getaway in his car and besides... I only have a feather duster to split the block...so..no luck there !


so, can ewe help me understand the nature cracking a rock in the right place to display the fossil ?


thanking ewe


hugs & shmishes


mwah mwah mwah



neil
Wifeys Cooking Is The Next Best Thing To Fossil Fun
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


 

Offline Bass

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How Does A Fossil Splitter Know Where To Split The Fossil ?
« Reply #1 on: 23/03/2010 21:06:38 »
I believe it's most efficient to use the biggest hammer I can find!

of course, that may explain why I don't have any good specimens ???
 

Offline Geezer

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How Does A Fossil Splitter Know Where To Split The Fossil ?
« Reply #2 on: 23/03/2010 22:44:50 »
I read (or saw) something recently about some significant fossils that were found. Think it was in Utah. It took them a long time to get them out because the rock was so hard. Even concrete saws were no use. I think they eventually had to revert to explosives.

Anyway, what struck me as strange was that they described the rock as sandstone. I always thought sandstone was rather easy to cut. Did I get it wrong, or can sandstone really be that hard?
 

Offline Bass

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How Does A Fossil Splitter Know Where To Split The Fossil ?
« Reply #3 on: 23/03/2010 23:32:41 »
possibly quartzite (metamorphosed sandstone)?
 

Offline Geezer

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How Does A Fossil Splitter Know Where To Split The Fossil ?
« Reply #4 on: 24/03/2010 00:15:08 »
possibly quartzite (metamorphosed sandstone)?

I don't think that was mentioned, but maybe that's it. It certainly was quite old. Does sandstone become quartzite over time if it's subject to significant pressure/temperature? (You can tell I know a lot about this stuff  :D)

If I can track down more info on the prog/article, I'll post it.
 

Offline JimBob

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How Does A Fossil Splitter Know Where To Split The Fossil ?
« Reply #5 on: 24/03/2010 01:22:51 »
Fossil spliters, such as those who caused the schizophrenia in Geezer, do not have a plan. They just start splitting.

When thin layered rocks are deposited, the fossil itself will cause a zone of weakness in the rock. So when spit, the rock will naturally tend to split and separate out the fossil.

I said 'tend" as it doesn't always happen that way.

« Last Edit: 24/03/2010 16:16:53 by JimBob »
 

Offline Geezer

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How Does A Fossil Splitter Know Where To Split The Fossil ?
« Reply #6 on: 24/03/2010 04:16:26 »
Fossil splinters, such as those who caused the schizophrenia in Geezer, do not have a plan. They just start splitting.

When thin layered rocks are deposited, the fossil itself will cause a zone of weakness in the rock. So when spit, the rock will naturally tend to split and separate out the fossil.

I said 'tend" as it doesn't always happen that way.



Sheesh! Thank you so much for wasting your time helping us neophytes understand this crap science.
 

Offline JimBob

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How Does A Fossil Splitter Know Where To Split The Fossil ?
« Reply #7 on: 24/03/2010 17:22:49 »
You are such a kind old fellow.  ;)
 

Offline Geezer

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How Does A Fossil Splitter Know Where To Split The Fossil ?
« Reply #8 on: 25/03/2010 01:51:57 »
We might also ask:

"How many fossils could a fossil splitter split, if a fossil splitter could split fossils?"
 

Offline JimBob

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How Does A Fossil Splitter Know Where To Split The Fossil ?
« Reply #9 on: 25/03/2010 03:59:29 »
Dasng! He had his teeth in when he posted that !

otherwise

"How many fothilth could a fothil thplitter thplit, if a fothil thplitter could thplit fothils?"
 

Offline Geezer

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How Does A Fossil Splitter Know Where To Split The Fossil ?
« Reply #10 on: 25/03/2010 04:40:16 »
LOL!
 

Offline Bailey

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How Does A Fossil Splitter Know Where To Split The Fossil ?
« Reply #11 on: 25/03/2010 08:11:46 »
ahahahahaha
 

Offline neilep

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How Does A Fossil Splitter Know Where To Split The Fossil ?
« Reply #12 on: 25/03/2010 16:26:19 »
I believe it's most efficient to use the biggest hammer I can find!

of course, that may explain why I don't have any good specimens ???

Thanks Dr Bass...

I'll go and use one of these from now on..



 

Offline neilep

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How Does A Fossil Splitter Know Where To Split The Fossil ?
« Reply #13 on: 25/03/2010 16:28:42 »
I read (or saw) something recently about some significant fossils that were found. Think it was in Utah. It took them a long time to get them out because the rock was so hard. Even concrete saws were no use. I think they eventually had to revert to explosives.

Anyway, what struck me as strange was that they described the rock as sandstone. I always thought sandstone was rather easy to cut. Did I get it wrong, or can sandstone really be that hard?


explosives  ??..thanks Dr Geezer


isn't that like doing ballet in hob-nailed boots ?
« Last Edit: 25/03/2010 16:30:33 by neilep »
 

Offline neilep

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How Does A Fossil Splitter Know Where To Split The Fossil ?
« Reply #14 on: 25/03/2010 16:32:17 »
Fossil spliters, such as those who caused the schizophrenia in Geezer, do not have a plan. They just start splitting.

When thin layered rocks are deposited, the fossil itself will cause a zone of weakness in the rock. So when spit, the rock will naturally tend to split and separate out the fossil.

I said 'tend" as it doesn't always happen that way.



Gosh !!..thank ewe Dr JimBob !....so the very fossil itself acts to serve as a facilitator ...awwwwww..that's nice.
 

Offline Mazurka

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How Does A Fossil Splitter Know Where To Split The Fossil ?
« Reply #15 on: 25/03/2010 17:30:42 »
I read (or saw) something recently about some significant fossils that were found. Think it was in Utah. It took them a long time to get them out because the rock was so hard. Even concrete saws were no use. I think they eventually had to revert to explosives.

Anyway, what struck me as strange was that they described the rock as sandstone. I always thought sandstone was rather easy to cut. Did I get it wrong, or can sandstone really be that hard?

Really hard (well cemented) sandstone can be very hard and wear out concrete (stihl) saw blades a lot quicker than concrete (I once watched someone wear out a £300 specialist diamond blade in about 10 minutes on a block of sandstone - although it was cutting through it quite nicely) So i can see it being a lot more cost effective and it is generally a lot quicker to blast than cut. However, to blast it, they would have had to have used a diamond drill to put the shot holes in.

The best way to get a fossil out in that situation would be to blast out big blocks then use "plug and feathers" to split the stone, which reduces the chances of damage to the fossil.

David Attenborough once blasted a small rock face in the Brecon Beacons, apparently saying "sometimes Geologists have to resort to more extreme measures".  From that day to this there is a Professor of Paleobotany at Cardiff University that curses him as before "extreme measures" it was one of the best exposures containing Devonian pollen that she was studying and now it is a pile of jumbled up rock.   
 

Offline Geezer

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How Does A Fossil Splitter Know Where To Split The Fossil ?
« Reply #16 on: 25/03/2010 17:37:57 »
From that day to this there is a Professor of Paleobotany at Cardiff University that curses him as before "extreme measures" it was one of the best exposures containing Devonian pollen that she was studying and now it is a pile of jumbled up rock.  

Oooops!


Thanks for the good info Mazurka.
 

Offline JimBob

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How Does A Fossil Splitter Know Where To Split The Fossil ?
« Reply #17 on: 26/03/2010 01:12:27 »
I believe it's most efficient to use the biggest hammer I can find!

of course, that may explain why I don't have any good specimens ???

Thanks Dr Bass...

I'll go and use one of these from now on..





Bass - Niel found your Bozeman Blaster, or whatever then huge hammer you carry in your truck is called. Well, yours had a rock head on it, this has a carpenter's head so maybe it isn't yours after all.
 

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How Does A Fossil Splitter Know Where To Split The Fossil ?
« Reply #17 on: 26/03/2010 01:12:27 »

 

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