8 Feb 2015

Back end of a belemnite: the experts are baffled.



This is a belemnite guard counterpart (the imprint of a fossil) with something imprinted into the surrounding shale - preserved soft tissue, I wondered? It was picked up from a cliff-fall on the beach north of Runswick Bay.

I sent a pic to the Natural History Museum in London, and their expert referred it on to the uber-expert in this fossiliferous field. His reply was a 'not sure', but it didn't look like the preserved belemnite soft tissue of his acquaintance. I was advised that someone will need to look at the thing in person. It's not the intact pliosaur skeleton (new species, naturally) I've been hoping for, but temporarily baffling expert Ph.D.s and eminent Profs will do for now.

Update: Uber expert says it's not like any fossilised mantle he's seen, and may be nothing to do with a belemnite.

Update 2: This is a repost from 2008, when Google ate a lot of my pics.

4 comments:

Richard Carter, FCD said...

Congratulations. Baffled experts are the best kind of experts.

Unless they're your G.P.

The Flying Trilobite said...

Clearly, this is actually a footprint from an Atleantean. I don't know what all the fuss is about. They had those interesting sandals.

Neil said...

To me, the texture around the belemnite looks a bit like the so called "cone-in-cone" structures that form in mudstones with calcite or aragonite cements. Compare to this picture.

I don't know much about cone-in-cone structures but I think they are formed by pore-waters moving through the rock and precipitating cements, so it would make sense that they might form around an irregularity like a belemnite guard.

Maybe some sedimentary geologist out there can refute or confirm.

Cliff Thornton said...

I have seen a rock similar to this. It was in a quarry in the Lake District. The hole in the rock had been caused by a miner's drill and the "shock effect" in the surrounding rock was caused when the charge in the hole was exploded!
Was your rock on the beach or somewhere where rocks might have been blown away by explosives, e.g. the rock overlaying the alum bearing strata?