Posted 6 years ago
Several months ago I confessed to collecting fossils, in addition to early wood and brass photographic apparatus, and posted a nice 5 inch pliosaur humerus slice with fine pyrite displacement in the marrow.
Shown here is a whole sectioned Ichthyosaurus vertabra that is 100% pyrite. Careful cutting and polishing brought out incredible detail of small individual cells and a marrow. What is difficult to convey with the photography is the amazing mirror-like, metallic luster that is characteristic of pyrite.
Mother nature certainly produces some amazing stuff!
Technically not a dinosaur, Ichthyosaur was a large fish living around 250 to 90 million years ago. This roughly 3 inch vertabra is quite heavy for its size and has no fractures. Pyritized fossils (i.e. shells) are somewhat common but pyrite displaced bone is rare.
The first two images show both sections of the sliced vertabra. One half of the vertabra exterior is shown in the third picture.
This example was found many years ago in the Ulyanovsk Volga region of Russia. Unlike this specimen, most of the found Russian Ichthyosaurus vertebrae have significant fractures and are only partially pyritized.