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Re: Re: Gastric stones of dinosaurs were not for milling food !

Denver et al,

Other papers aside....... all geology is local though the applicability of any particular situation may be universal.

What I call "gastroliths" are found in the middle of Hell Creek sandstone country. They were found in affiliation (some insitu) of a bone bed and several microsites I have been working. I have actually looked at hundreds of square miles of Hell Creek and am beginning to know this country pretty well (I own 5 square miles of Hell Creek) and actually live on it all year round. I spend a great deal of time hunting fossils. I will tell you that this kind of stone doesn't occur anywhere close to here except in affiliation with dinosaur bone deposits. I do find them in mixed assemblages so I am not attributing their origin to anybody in particular. I am just telling you that I do attribute them to being transported biologically back in the Cretaceous.

After 4 years of diligent prospecting and "walking hills", I have learned many things and can tell you that if you came to my ranch and spent a great deal of time, you might find one or two isolated "gastroliths" away from the bone site affiliations. There are localized strata that these will come out of but mostly they are absent. Bone deposits are quite rare as well. They just aren't everywhere (I don't know if you have ever worked Hell Creek). The nearest source for this kind of "pebble" is over 100 miles from our highland ranch. The ONLY way they got here is by being carried here by some mechanism. (Remember I have found these insitu so later deposition is out of the discussion.) If you did a Hell Creek sediment size analysis to determine the carrying capacity of the rivers here, you would find the average grain size to be medium sand. I have NEVER seen any indication that the rivers here were carrying anything so dense and large. I do find rare local larger rip up clasts but the ability of the Hell Creek Rivers to carry this size material to this location down the paleoslope is not really in doubt (they couldn't). I would put the affinity at nearly 100 percent, as in, when I find these stones, I always find fossils, and when I find fossil sites, I always find these stones (I might have to work at it but they are there.). I seldom find one without the other and when that does occur, I didn't look long enough at that site (since all sites are not created equal and deserve the same attention.).

When I talk about a semi-gloss polish, very few of the stones actually have what I would call a polish (some do). Most have a matte surface that unlike cobble sized quartzitic stone found in Wyoming streams (where there is a source of cobble sized material), these seldom have percussion marks on them. Some do have remnants of percussion marks that have been obliterated by what ever process the stone was subject to. This really is highly indicative of not having suffered stream saltation and the corresponding rough handling that is affiliated with such travel.

There is almost always a reddish stain on the surface of these stones locally. (I can't speak for many other locations outside of my area). Here, they are always smooth(ed) as if from a rock tumbler. Some do have a semi-gloss surface (no matter what you may have read). Call them "Gastromyths" if you will but until you can explain their presence in original Cretaceous sediment far from their original source material almost always being in affiliation with bone deposits, I would ask what to appropriately label them.

I included a photo of a "pile of around 60 Hell Creek Gastroliths collected from my ranch in the original email I sent directly to several participants in this discussion. If anybody wants me to send that photo to them, email me at frank@blissnet.com and I will send it to you.

The scale in the photo has squares that are one inch on a side. Not the semi-gloss on some of the material and not on others.

Frank (Rooster) Bliss
MS Biostratigraphy
Weston, Wyoming