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Unidentified Specimen Geology / Paleontoloist, Last Resort

 
 
Reply Sat 11 Apr, 2015 10:32 am
This is a heavy specimen, perhaps a casting. Found on the shorelines of the Raritan River, along the beach of Johnson Park in Highland Park, NJ.... two days after the washout of Hurricane Sandy.
If the photos seem incomplete, vied the photos at their offsite upload link.
There is a small break in the specimen, revealing what seems to be most likely quartzite inside. The outer surface is quite smooth and microscopically pitted. The petina is dark stained and pieces of rock and pebble are stuck inside the formation, unremovable.

I have consulted multiple reputed people in paleontology, minerology and geology. Special trips to Professors at Princeton, Kean and Rutgers were futile... even after lab microscopes and spectrometers were used..... And My latest trip this weekend was to the World Gem/Fossil/Mineral Expo in Raritan Center, Edison, NJ. Not a single person had a similar answer to just what this could be. Please help, and perhaps guide me to the next person who might know definitely what it is. What I can say.... is that I wish I had a photo of the faces of each person that looked at this for the first time in their hands.....

http://i62.tinypic.com/28je90n.jpg
http://i61.tinypic.com/fxfhtv.jpg
http://i57.tinypic.com/3144gus.jpg
http://i61.tinypic.com/ipazpf.jpg
http://i62.tinypic.com/28lukbk.jpg
http://i60.tinypic.com/10rk6bp.jpg
 
farmerman
 
  4  
Reply Sat 11 Apr, 2015 11:31 am
@ActionWolf,
Nobody at Princeton could help you??? It looks a lot like Holocene aged "worm tubes" (Tubifex etc, ) See a copy of the Treatise of Invertebrate Pqleontology at the Princeton Library.I cant give you an exact name but I think I can tell you HOW to locte it in time

I dont understqnd the need for a spectrophotometer. I would suggect you have someone make a THIN SECTION across a "tube" and see whether theres a "cast shell" and then see what the interiror structure (seems to be uniform SAND. Look at the thing under polarized light qnd see wht the minerl mkeup is

This area of NJ is well known for acid deposition minerals and fossils from the late Pleistocene into the Holocene. SOme of the Minerql thqt one finds in associqtion with this kind of deposit is MARCASITE "cockscomb pyrite" (The deposition of marcasite is from low temp acidic waters. SO, If you did a THIN SECTION of the "tubes" and the surface is seen to be something like Aragonite, that would go along with a period of acid seas and carbonate deposition (Actually its just chemical buffering) in an Aragonite Xl matrix and its usually acompanying some Marcasite "discs"

I used to find stuff like this along the northern coastal plin regions of NJ. Wed find gray and green sand deposit with these fossiliferous lyers in between.
ActionWolf
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Apr, 2015 11:48 am
@farmerman,
Thank you for the input. Among the photographs, from top to bottom, numbers 2 and 5 are macro pf the fracture which shows the underlying composition of the specimen. Looking at them further with just a loop shows that you can tell there is an existence of an outer shell/cast throughout the object. Grains of sand from the macros are just stuck in the twistedness of the object. I will try with polarized light.... I was also thinking I can try an acid test on another intrusive fracture, to see if anything dissolves.. perhaps acetone. Mohs tells me this is about a 7.5. I am so boggled. I will also check out Holocene period tubifex. Thanks again! :-)
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sat 11 Apr, 2015 04:48 pm
@ActionWolf,
wow, that hardness number is very high.

Id still make a thin section for the polarized light. Any 2nd year undergrad geo major can help you with that.

If you do an acid test, take a bit of the outer layer and powder it up in a pestle, then add some vinegar, if it fizzes its aragonite or calcite.

Good luck, its an interesting specimen. Any more like it? Can you find it "in place" or was this one transported in a stream?
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2015 02:07 am
@farmerman,
Could it be fossilized droppings ?
ActionWolf
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2015 09:39 am
@farmerman,
I'll take a trip to my friend's lapidary workshop... I'll see if I can pick a good spot to cross section a bit. Acid results will be figured out this week also.
TO my knowledge, it is the only specimen obtained. It was definitely washout from the shores of the Raritan River, seeing that I had found it only days after Sandy. It was slightly burrowed in what was seemingly red shale and clay slag.
Thanks for the luck.

Coordinates: 40.509074, -74.464718
0 Replies
 
ActionWolf
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2015 09:41 am
@Ionus,
It may be on many people's minds, including mine... when I first found it.
It is sometimes the first thing some contemplate before looking further into it.
Though, only one person, a man from the New Jersey Geological Society had made that suggestion, and he seemed quite reluctant to even say it definitely.
0 Replies
 
ActionWolf
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2015 09:43 am
@farmerman,
Might it be a good idea to try and repost this in the Paleontology forum here or on reddit?
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2015 12:11 pm
@ActionWolf,
not familiar with reddit. hen you look at it n cros section (qs a thin section) look for the structure, a worm tube will be all sand or silt, a coprolite (doo doo) will often have chunks of food stuffs, like shells or bone or plants . It could be but Im not leaning that way. Jut look at it under a scope (hopefully a polriing cope with a rotating stage) A petrographic scope.
Usually coprolites are tinted with some carbonaceous stuff.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2015 04:38 pm
@farmerman,
could also be a fulgurite ( a "frozen" lightning bolt that hit the sand)
http://www.everythingselectric.com/images/bathichnus-paramoudrae-paramoudras-sassnitzer-blumentopf-beeston-chalk-flint-circle.jpg
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2015 05:09 pm
@ActionWolf,
Looks like some sort of fossilized tube-worm mass to me.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2015 05:01 am
Just thinking out loud, but could it be the intestines of an animal ?
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2015 05:02 am
@farmerman,
Quote:
could also be a fulgurite
Has one been found before that was that small and complex ?
0 Replies
 
 

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