mystery fossil

Doug Yanega dyanega at UCR.EDU
Fri Apr 14 14:50:29 CDT 2006

>It is not often that someone comes through the door with something for
>us to identify that stumps all of us!  This fossil came from an
>engineering company that was excavating for a parking lot in South
>Carolina.  I have no further informationat this time except that the
>owner (not us) wants to retain it.  Could this be from a marine fish?
>The "teeth" at the ends are enamel and are splitting apart. The smaller
>"teeth" along the U-shaped shaft also appear to have a thin enamel layer.

To me it looks man-made, in all honesty. Especially considering that
it is not an impression fossil, nor - quite clearly - was it embedded
in a rock matrix and removed (if there was a matrix, it must have
been soft enough to simply wash free, from the look of the
"specimen"), it must be a young object. It definitely doesn't look to
be of biological origin; any organism I've ever seen which possesses
rows of denticles somewhere in its anatomy (teeth or otherwise) has
them all in the same orientation, or at least *some* regular pattern,
not randomly oriented, randomly inclined, and of random shapes and
sizes. Maybe some high school art class project?


Doug Yanega        /Dept. of Entomology         /Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521-0314
phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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