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Pennsylvanian Bone?



Okay, this may be a *bit* off topic, but here goes...

I've been doing much work over the past week on a beautiful Pennsylvanian 
outcrop (LaSalle Limestone, Bond Formation) near my home in LaSalle County, 
Illinois.  The outcrop is that of shale and limestone, and preserves six 
distinct stages in a cyclothem (I haven't determined which cyclothem yet).  In 
one of the limestone layers a small (1.5 cm) fragment was discovered, which is 
brown (the matrix is very greyish), porous, and smooth on one side.  I did 
perform the obligatory, and yet unreliable, lick test, and the fragment stuck 
to my tongue, while the matrix did not.  I also examined the fragment under a 
microscope, along with fragments of various other fossils found at the site 
(brachs, crinoids, corals).  It resembled none of these.  It also did not 
resemble any of the bryozoans I have in my collection (from older Mississippian 
rocks, mind you, but a bryozoan is a bryozoan!).  However, the fragment matched 
very closely with a superficially-similar dinosaur bone fragment from!
!
!
 
Hell Creek.  

Obviously, it isn't a dinosaur (or else I will become quite famous).  It does 
appear to me, at least after initial observations and magnification, that it 
may be a bone fragment.  However, can anybody tell me what a nice fragment of 
bone is doing 20-30 miles offshore?  It's end is circular, and looks a lot like 
a round bone of a reptile or bird.  It looks absolutely nothing like a fish 
bone.  Birds were not evolved yet, and this was too far offshore to be a 
reptile (probably).  

Does anybody out there have any idea what this fragment may represent, whether 
it be bone or not?  The only other fossils preserved at the site are brachs, 
corals, and crinoids, and the fragment is not an ordinary rock, as it is 
different in size and appearance than the limestone, and nothing like it has 
been found at the outcrop.

Anybody with ideas or suggestions can contact me OFF LIST.  

Thank you much,
Steve

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Steve Brusatte-DINO LAND PALEONTOLOGY
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