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Author Topic: Have I found sticks & stones or ancient bones?  (Read 3827 times)

Offline Tsurugi

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Have I found sticks & stones or ancient bones?
« on: 15/05/2014 14:00:13 »
Greetings and salutations from Texas(hey ya'll)!

I've been lurking about in the forum for a few days, reading recent and popular threads, getting a feel for the place, and have decided to come out of the shadows...but I'm determined to make an effort to not be just another noob who wants someone to identify a neato rock discovered while mowing the lawn. However, being new to the forum, and having recently come across several interesting stones that I could use help in classifying, I am finding this slightly difficult, haha...

But I am determined, so instead of simply posting pictures and asking for help, I want to explain my situation and the nature of the questions I have.

I live on the Edwards plateau in central Texas, on the heavily eroded end known as the "hill country". Recently, my brother and I were hired to do clearing, road building, brush burning, etc. on some extremely rugged property. As you might expect, we are used to hilly land, living in the hill country and all...but on this property everything seems to be exaggerated; all sheer cliffs and deep ravines. The only "flat" ground is on top of the hills, the slopes of which are either nonexistent(i.e., straight down), or descend sharply in a series of steppes or ledges like some kind of primordial ziggurat. Sparse soil and vegetation are tossed in here and there almost like an afterthought, and the trees are gnarled, kinked, and twisted, probably in desperate effort not to grow too tall and get ripped up by the wind.

Having lived in the hill country for many, many moons, we are aware of the numerous marine fossils to be found in the (mostly) early Cretaceous limestone, and have seen our fair share of bivalves and cephalopods and so forth. However, we were not prepared for the geological and palaeontological wonders we have been stumbling over(sometimes quite literally) on this property. There are days when we get almost no actual work done because some crystalline marvel caught our eyes soon after we arrived and we spend the rest of the day wandering around looking at rocks with bemused expressions on our faces.

At this point, we have been on the property for 4 months, and the questions keep stacking up. So, we set out to find a place to ask them...and here we are...if you all are willing, that is. Because this is more than just a few rocks we'd like identified; we want to try and gain an understanding of the whole picture, what forces, processes, and events were responsible for what we are seeing out there. We have done some reading on the subject, as much as we can, and I've tried to find similar stuff to what we are seeing, but so far that hasn't been successful. I'm sure it's out there, I just don't know what to call it, which makes it difficult to search for. Google is a fantastic tool, but it can't help you find the search terms you need, hehe....


So that's the situation in a nutshell(or a concretion?). Rather than just barge in here with a bunch of questions, I decided to lay it out for you all and then ask only one question, at least at the outset: Does this sound like something you guys would be interested in doing...helping my brother and I gain a greater understanding of the geology we've been seeing?

Either way, I'm glad to be a member of the forum, and I've already learned some interesting things here, just perusing other posts. Thanks!  :D

I'll post a couple of photos from the property for your viewing pleasure, just to give an idea. These were taken with my cellphone, which isn't the greatest camera in the world, so I apologize. I plan to take better pics with a proper camera soon.
















[MOD EDIT- please phrase titles as questions in line with AUP]
« Last Edit: 04/06/2014 10:57:23 by Georgia »


 

Offline RD

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Re: Sticks & Stones & Ancient Bones
« Reply #1 on: 15/05/2014 14:34:04 »
#3 looks biological , the bone-like tubes look like fossilized coral ...


http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mgs/explore/fossils/past/coral-anno.htm
« Last Edit: 15/05/2014 14:56:26 by RD »
 

Offline Tsurugi

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Re: Sticks & Stones & Ancient Bones
« Reply #2 on: 21/05/2014 08:58:27 »
newbielink:http://i.imgur.com/YpwLkTp.jpg [nonactive] looks biological , the bone-like tubes look like fossilized coral ...


Thanks for the link! From what I can tell, it might be fossilized rudists...? Not sure though.
 

Offline Tsurugi

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Re: Sticks & Stones & Ancient Bones
« Reply #3 on: 21/05/2014 09:13:00 »
Some more pics from the property, of a very strange formation...we spent a few hours uncovering it, it was almost completely hidden under the dirt. We haven't uncovered all of it either, at both ends it appears to continue underneath the topsoil.
At first I thought maybe it was petrified wood...but I dropped that idea after uncovering a couple of square feet of it, and now I have no idea. It sort of looks like...degraded cave formations?? But this is on the surface, near the top of a large hill...?
I dunno.

newbielink:http://imgur.com/20Z7LV2 [nonactive]

newbielink:http://imgur.com/orvPILW [nonactive]

newbielink:http://imgur.com/YufvpRX [nonactive]

newbielink:http://imgur.com/T4qx7mv [nonactive]
 

Offline RD

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Re: Sticks & Stones & Ancient Bones
« Reply #4 on: 21/05/2014 13:17:13 »
« Last Edit: 21/05/2014 13:48:02 by RD »
 

Offline Tsurugi

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Re: Sticks & Stones & Ancient Bones
« Reply #5 on: 05/06/2014 13:15:45 »
Stromatolites can have a concentric tree-ring appearance ...
Ahh, that does look like it. Thanks!
Quote
A dedicated fossil forum may be of more help ...
Ok, I will check that out, thanks for the link.
We have found stuff that doesn't appear to be fossils of any kind, and we still have geology questions...for instance, the limestone in this area turns a blueish-gray after some years exposed to the sun. This doesn't appear to happen to limestone in other areas. What causes the color change?
Sometimes we find a crumbly material called caliche(it makes a great "natural cement" road base) underneath layers of hard rock limestone. Why didn't it turn to stone like the sediment above it?
 

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Re: Sticks & Stones & Ancient Bones
« Reply #5 on: 05/06/2014 13:15:45 »

 

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