Fossil from the lower Jurasic, Holzmaden, Germany

  1. DrDu

    DrDu 4,157
    Science Advisor

    Recently, I collected fossils from the famous posidonia shells from the lower Jurasic (Toarcium or Lias epsilon) in Holzmaden in the south west of Germany near Stuttgart. Besides numerous Ammonites I found some of the following fossils which I don't quite know what it is. Any ideas?
    They are quite thick "leaves" which seem to be connected to some thicker more or less spherical stem(now completely pyritized in the upper part of the picture) altough I did not prepare them, so the anatomy is just a guess. The size is about 3 cm.

    Thank you!
     

    Attached Files:

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  3. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    They remind me of ginko, but I'm not sure if they lived where you found this, but they do date back to the lower Jurasic.
     
  4. davenn

    davenn 3,547
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    Gold Member
    2014 Award

    looks like the typical brachiopod of that era
    I have collected a good few out of the Jurassic strata on the SE coast of the South Island of New Zealand, part of the Southland Syncline

    cheers
    Dave
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  5. DrDu

    DrDu 4,157
    Science Advisor

    Thank you for your replies!
    I don't think it is gingko, although gingko leaves have been found at that site, because it is a marine environment and leaves of land plants are rare.
    I was considering also brachiopods, but they are a little bit too irregular and this does also not explain the stem.
    Now that I was looking for brachiopods, I found some pictures of crinoids from Holzmaden which seem to be quite similar:
    http://www.erftalnews.de/Bilder/Sammlung/Seelilien/Holzmaden_Seelilie_2.jpg
     
  6. davenn

    davenn 3,547
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    that link wont open, can you post a pic here please

    not sure what the "stem" is that you are seeing ?

    of course there's no reason why you wouldnt have a crinoid and a brachiopod in close proximity :smile:

    I would be VERY suprised if that main object in the centre isnt a brachiopod

    they come in all sorts of variations and ones from that far back in time are often have quite distorted shapes due to the pressures of burial

    cheers
    Dave
     
  7. DrDu

    DrDu 4,157
    Science Advisor

    Strange, maybe you can surf to
    http://www.erftalnews.de
    Then click on "Sammlung"->"Seelilien"
     
  8. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  9. It looks to me like a type of foraminiferan known as a nummulite. I've found plenty of these myself in Miocene limestone. I don't think they've been found in Cretaceous rock though.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nummulite
     
  10. DrDu

    DrDu 4,157
    Science Advisor

    According to the german wikipedia, nummulites are first found in the upper Cretaceous rocks. But my fossils are definitively from the lower Jurassic.
     
  11. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    It really doesn't look exactly like anything I've seen, but it's difficult from only a picture, but you seem to know your fossils and you're stumped. If you have a local university, perhaps someone in the paleontology department could identify it.
     
  12. DrDu

    DrDu 4,157
    Science Advisor

    According to the german wikipedia, nummulites are first found in the upper Cretaceous rocks. But my fossils are definitively from the lower Jurassic.
     
  13. DrDu

    DrDu 4,157
    Science Advisor

    The problem is that I haven't got any books on fossils, but it seems I have to change this.
    Holzmaden is one of the most famous sites in Germany for fossils and I am quite sure that this relic, which seems to be relatively abundant, is described somewhere.
     
  14. DrDu

    DrDu 4,157
    Science Advisor

  15. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

  16. DrDu

    DrDu 4,157
    Science Advisor

    As a reward for your help I upload here a picture of a real fossil found there. I exaggerated the contrast somewhat, but this more how it looked when it was fresh and wet.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Very nice!
     
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