Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mid-week Mystery Sample: What is it?

So what is it? In the early 1990's, I was conducting one of our first field trips through the Colorado Plateau region, and at a stop to observe the sediments of the Chinle Formation, one of the students picked up the sample seen in the picture. I am admittedly not a paleontologist, but I looked and looked and couldn't make heads or tails of it. It sat on my desk for seven or eight years, until I walked through the visitor center at Petrified Forest National Park (the park is a showcase for the Chinle Formation), when I got it! Can you?

7 comments:

Chuck said...

It looks sort of like a coral. Is the Chinle marine?

Jerry D. Harris said...

It's probably not quite fair that I answer, since I've prepped and dealt with more of these than I'd care to think about in my career, but it's a chunk of a phytosaur scute. Could be aetosaur, but the pitting pattern looks more phytosaurian to me.

Silver Fox said...

I would have guessed a coral, also, but the Chinle isn't marine. No good pictures of "scutes" online to be easily found, so possibly you have the best photo published. If, indeed, that's what it is!

Just a blog... said...

So it's a reptile scale plate? I never would have guessed that! Totally would have guessed some kind of tabulate coral.

helena.heliotrope said...

Hey, I just wanted to mention that, on a whim, I picked up a copy of the Geology Illustrated that you mentioned a few posts back. It's fantastic, both the explanations and pictures. Thanks for posting about it :)

Bill Parker said...

This is a portion of an interclavicle from a metoposaurid.

220mya said...

I agree with Bill - definitely a part of a metoposaur interclavicle.