paleontology
Sometimes a mineral can look llike a fossil.

This was found behind my father in law's cabin in the woods, in a pile of rocks next to a creek. Not entirely sure if this is a fossil but I would suspect that it is a clutch of eggs. I have found numerous, large crinoid stem fossils (they appear to be carboniferous) in the same area every time I go out on a fossil hunt. If it were from the same general time frame, I'd suspect it to be a clutch of early reptile eggs. However, this is only an amateur's guess.

Fossil Collector: Andy C.

Location: Hocking County, Ohio

[Editor's Note: This sort of thing fools collectors all the time. It is almost certainly a mineral formation like goethite or hematite or other sedimentary formation. Perhaps someone familiar with the minerals of Ohio can leave a comment to be more specific. I'd like to point out that, although not a fossil, it is still a very interesting find and worth taking a look at.]

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6 Responses to “Michigan Fossil Eggs or Not?”

  1. Andy C says:

    This wasn’t found in Michigan, it was found 250 miles south in Ohio, in the rocky forested hills a ways south of Columbus. What I notice most from studying the actual sample is that all the egg-like “lumps”, for lack of a better word, are of equal shape and size, oval and elongated much like a snake or lizard egg, and oriented in different directions much like you would find in a present-day egg clutch. There also seems to be a thin layer surrounding them much like a shell. This is much more apparent when viewed at all angles.

    I realize the fossil record of amniotic eggs doesn’t show anything up until the Triassic, so an egg find in this area or time period would be exceptionally rare and easily debunked. Knowing that, I’m very skeptical that it is indeed an egg clutch fossil and probably is indeed a mineral. Now, looking at a vast array of similar examples of geothite and hematite online, I can certainly see the resemblance but something still seems off when looking at it hands-on, mostly due to the uniform shape and size of the “lumps” in the sample. Any Ohio mineral experts out there?

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  2. Scott says:

    Thank you, I corrected the Ohio/Michigan typo. Regarding the specimen, it is definitely interesting regardless. There are other nodular minerals and formations possible, I only mentioned two off the top of my head. Hopefully a mineral collector will recognize it and chime in for us.

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  3. Solius says:

    While, I would like to see better photos and more of them, the size and shape are similar to algal balls, but the edge shown by the tape measure is similar to concretionary Fe minerals???

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  4. Andy C says:

    Sure, is there a way I can send you more detailed photos?

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  5. Scott says:

    We don’t usually post follow up photos, but you are welcome to “like” us on Facebook and post them to our page there.

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  6. Ben Smith says:

    I have found numerous finds like this in northern Indiana. I think it is clay fossilized possibly formed by an intense heat where water began to boil then was left undisturbed until it hardened.

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