More on things that look like bone and aren’t

gyp1My post last year on “things that look like bone but aren’t” went down well, but certainly suffered from a lack of illustrations. This time out I had a camera handy and was able to take a couple of snaps of a few bits of gypsum on the surface (above) and weathering out of the rock (below) both of which have a great bone-like appearance thanks to the fine grain of the crystals that look very like the texture of bone and the white-ish colours.
gyp-2

If I see a few more examples of ‘not bone’ I’ll keep them coming.

5 Responses to “More on things that look like bone and aren’t”


  1. 1 Roger 09/05/2009 at 10:42 pm

    You wouldn’t believe how hard it can be to distinguish bone from wood or mud at our Cretaceous site near Melbourne. Even seasoned professionals can have a hard time picking some bits.

  2. 2 monado 10/05/2009 at 12:33 am

    That’s a good argument for sieving, rinsing(?) and microscopic examination, I guess… many hours of work measured against missing a few bits.

  3. 3 Justin 10/05/2009 at 8:57 am

    Looks like a tough job, finding fossils when they look just like wood and rock.

  4. 4 David Hone 15/05/2009 at 10:25 pm

    monado: I guess it depends on your point of view, but I would consider this a reason *not* to go through all that. You could spend hundreds of hours (and the money) on searching for new sites or better material or even writing papers rather than all that detailed work for a few (admittedly possibly very interesting) scraps. If you work on microfossils then it’s going to be essential, but for my kind of stuff I’d prefer to risk losing small bits and gaining whole bones. It’s a trade-off as ever and one that in a way we can never win, or know if we made the right choice.


  1. 1 Some more ‘not bone’ photos « Dave Hone’s Archosaur Musings Trackback on 02/07/2009 at 7:41 am
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