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Re: Eggs?



Roger wrote:-

>We found what appeared to be eggs literally covering the ground.  I
>brought one home, and over a year of slow work with white vinager I
>freed the stone interior from the case, it was already
>broken. Inside this "filling" were several small "bone-like"
>objects. The confusing part was the other fossils at the site, which
>representd marine creatures..................... Could it be that
>what we found was indeed dinosaur eggs, not neccessarily hadrosaurs,
>that nested near the sea? Are there any other natural formations
>that produce objects resembling eggs, like bacteria colonies? But
>what could account for the objects inside?

Without seeing the material it would be hard to make a definite 
identification, but it sounds like you have a concretion.  These can form 
in warm shallow seas in muddy and sandy sediments and form especially 
around animal/plant remains.  In some cases it is the crystallisation of 
fluids produced by the rotting carcasse as it interacts with the waters 
held within the surrounding sediments.  There are of course various ways 
in which these may form but many take on the appearance of eggs.  Some 
sedimentary horizons may be packed full of these egg-like structures.  
Some of the best preserved fossils can be prepared from such nodules 
including soft-tissues such as was found in the Santana Formation fish 
nodules (Cretaceous).  Examine the contents of these nodules carefully as 
they could be extremely interesting!

As for eggs......who knows, maybe you have found a layer rich in eggs 
similar to what they found in China last year.  If you have any of the 
shell preserved, that would be a giveaway.  Dinosaur eggs are notoriously 
difficult to identify and many have been wrongly identified in the 
past...such as the egg from Lourihna (?sp.) in Portugal, and one from the 
Oxford Clay in the UK.  Unless you have the eggshell preserved 
surrounding the nodule, it is likely to be a concretion.  If you do have 
a piece of the shell I am sure there is someone who would be able to 
identify it...I certainly could.

I sent this as a general message as I think that collectors who don't 
know about concretions, should look out for them as they could contain a 
fast ticket to the palaeontological hall of fame :-)

Neil