Monday, October 26, 2009

A Pseudofossil Called Stylolite

I have been reading a well written book from Germany called Fossil Collector's Handbook: Finding, Identifying, Preparing, Displaying by Gerhard Lichter. Published in English in 1993 by Sterling Publishing Company. The German title is Fossilien bergen, präparieren, ausstellen: Geräte und Techniken published in 1986.

On page 11, there is a picture of a pseudofossil called Stylolite. The author describes it as "the woodlike limestone formation is most likely a diagenetic sediment deposit that developed during rock formation or a water-worn rock."

I remember finding my first piece of rock like the one pictured in the book and thinking I had found some sort of petrified wood. Later, someone told me it was just a pseudofossil. DARN! I still pick up pieces today maybe because like the structure of its parallel lines. Or maybe the hope it is some sort of petrified wood.

The following are pictures of two specimens that I found east of Louisville, Kentucky. They were found at an Ordovician Period road cut.