An introduction to Fossilization with stuff around me.
Above is a piece of Baltic Amber, a fossilized resin from an extinct tree. Millions of years ago an ancient tree protruded sap and insects that were attracted to the sap would get trapped inside.
I don’t believe messing with DNA is in the best interest of our humanity. However, should you want to extract dinosaur DNA (like Jurassic Park) you would not get Dino DNA from the Dominican Republic as suggested in the movie because the age of Dominican fossilized resin is only 30-35 million years old. Softer Amber from Mexico called “Copal” is only a few million years old. Dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago. A good prospecting source for a more ancient Amber would be in the Baltic region of Poland, Lithuania, and Russia as the age of Amber located there is 60-75 million years old. Because Amber is lighter in specific gravity than plastic, it will float in high sodium chloride water (salt water). The amber floats on the Baltic Sea and washes ashore where it can be conveniently picked up.
Inside this 65 million year old Amber is a parasitic pseudoscorpion measuring approximately 4mm in length. They often clung onto the fur of animals for transportation. They don’t have a whipping tail like a Vinegaroon or Scorpion, hence pseudo (false).
Below images are at 20x to 45x magnification. Darkfield illumination.
Notice the blood splotch in abdomen (this parasite drew blood)
Baltic Amber is harder due to a longer time of fossilization. If you heat Baltic Amber up in the oven the inside will crackle causing “sun spangles”. Softer and younger resins like Copal from Mexico will not do this (they melt or get sticky to the touch). Discoid fractures are human induced by heating older Amber. “sun spangles” within Amber was popular in Victorian era jewelry.
I decided to drill an ultrasonic hole in the Amber piece.
I had a star drill tube already soldered upon a metal horn so I proceeded.
I was amazed how long it took me to core through the Amber even at .2 amps and 18,000 hertz. I commonly core through granite and quartz crystal much faster.
Amber like glass is amorphous in structure meaning it has no uniform crystal lattice therefore the Amber’s hardness is the same in all directions. Hardness 2- 2.5 on MOHS scale.
The sonic made star hole in this Amber looks much glassier inside compared to hard aggregate cores like granite.
I looked under the microscope and noticed I sonically drilled through a bug wing (part of the wing is now in the star core).
Its fun to think how the air bubbles trapped in the Amber reveals air content from 65 million years ago. A time capsule back to the time of Dinosaurs.
Can you see the tiny Pseudo Scorpion? It is to the left of the star hole near the Amber’s left outside edge at the 9 o’clock position.
(The pseudo scorpion’s pincers are pointing upward).
Most Amber has a light hazy yellowish green fluorescence when subjected to shortwave ultraviolet light.
The Amber’s fluorescence is much weaker than the strong fluorescence of this background Willemite (green) and Calcite (orange) rock from Franklin, New Jersey. The oldest Bee found in Amber is also from New Jersey.
The Amber star drill hole looks like a shooting star.
Due to the Ambers transparency we can see the Willimite and Calcite rock’s fluorescent colors are phasing through the Amber.
Amber has a nice resinous smell when subjected to a hot point (destructive test) and plastic imitations will have a foul acridic odor.
Speaking of foul odor.
Below is not really a Zuni bear poop.
Its fossilized turtle poop.
I was going to make a Mr. Hanky pendant but the head broke off.
I drilled star holes in the fossilized dung instead.
When I bought this fossilized turtle dung at the Spreakles, CA rock show, I caught myself smelling my fingers after handling it. Guess, I was checking.
Down the hall from this booth was a guy selling fossilized wood and Jasper slices.
More sonic holes will be made in the above pieces (a possible jewelry item)
Wood soaking in a mineralized solution over millions of years will soak up the minerals and slowly the mineral takes over the woods form. (pseudomorph).
The above 460 pound fossilized wood is around 220 million years old and is beautifully colored by dark Pyrolusite (manganese oxide) and limonite (iron oxide). One giant Jasper Chalcedony gemstone.
Petrified wood is commonly fossilized by the mineral Chalcedony, pronounced Cal-sid-nee.
Chalcedony is a micro or crypto crystalline Quartz. Tiny quartz crystals so small you cannot see them with the naked eye (without magnification).
Notice how the purple quartz crystals in this geode are larger in the center and as you look closer to the outside rind the crystals get smaller and smaller until micro-crystaline (chalcedony).
Chacedony that has lines in it is called Agate. If no lines its called Jasper.
Just as quartz crystals are piezoelectric (large silicon crystals) so is Chalcedony (microscopic silicon crystals)
They will both briefly internally light up if firmly scraped upon one another.
Careful not to break pieces.
Chalcedony takes over the shell below and grows larger drusy crystals upon the chalcedony.
When numerous crystals are present visually? We call it Drusy.
If the drusy fossil shell is subjected to Titanuim plating by way of chemical vapor deposition the end result is a 3 to 4 micron plating of titanium giving a peacock coloring. (shown below)
Coral from the ocean can also fossilize such as the below Coral stalgtite (E.T. finger). The chalcedony took over the chemical composition of the Coral. The orange color is a result of trace elements of iron.
Ancient snails and squid (large and small) can be found fossilized from around the world.
Many Ammonites (snails) and Orthoceras (squid) are dated to 400 to 440 million years ago (middle Paleozoic era)… that’s 5 times older than Dinosaurs.
Above Ammonite showing the Fibonacci sequence.
The cone of the Large squid above is over 6 feet long.. can you imagine the tentacles? They get bigger than above shown. These squid and snails are found in the Sahara Desert where once were covered by ocean. When the exoskeleton squid died they fell to the sea floor and slowly fossilized. The dark color of the fossils is a result of fossilization in an oxygen deprived environment (no oxygen). The fossilizing mineral of the above squid (Orthoceras) is limestone.