Posted 6 years ago
In addition to early wood and brass photographic apparatus, did I also mention a fascination with fossils? Shown here is a large, cut and polished section of a pliosaur humerus. Fossilized dinosaur bones are not overly rare but, as with anything, really great gem grade material (i.e. agatized specimens) is difficult to find. At the rare end of the spectrum is bone fossilized with pyrite. While pyritized fossils such as ammonites are commonly found, dino bones are the exception.
This nearly five inch pliosaur bone fragment is special because portions of it were pyritized over the course of millions of years of fossilization. Careful cutting and polishing brought out incredible detail from what would otherwise look like a plain rock.
Although about 150 million years old (probably late Jurassic), it has beautifully preserved cells (the irregular shapes). Most of the fossilized tissue is calcite while others are pyrite. The marrow (oval formation shown at the right) was completely displaced with pyrite. The second image is a close up of the cells showing the incredible detail of pyrite and calcite in the fossilized tissue matrix.
This example was found many years ago in the Ulyanovsk Volga region of Russia. A small cache of good quality pyritized bones were discovered in a few rock layers while some, like this specimen, were loose along the river.