(Fossils that really aren't!)
Rocks in the shape of bones are pretty common. There are a lot of different bones in the body - long leg and arm bones, rounded skulls, flattened shoulder and hip bones, flattened ribs, as well as small finger and toe bones and teeth.
Some are elongated pieces of chert (quartz). Sometimes water sculpts soft sedimentary rock into bone-shapes. To determine if your rock is really a bone, look at it closely (a magnifying glass may be helpful). Do you see the Haversian canals or similar bone-structure? It is visible on the surface and especially in the cross-section.
As a general rule, fossilized bone will be black, brown, blue, or orange. Only bones of ice age animals found in river sediment deposits retain a white color.
Chert Nodule in limestone - Clark County, Indiana Water worn limestone - Floyd County, Indiana
Chert Nodule - Floyd or Harrison County, Indiana Ironstone Nodule - Floyd County, Indiana
Limestone concretion - Meade County, Kentucky Chert (This could actually be trace fossils) - Clark Co., IN
Cone-in-cone Nodule - Jefferson County, Kentucky Chert Nodule - Floyd and Harrison County, Indiana
A tooth? No, water sculpted limestone Jaw? No, a common solution feature in limestone called
from a Florida beach. a stylolite. Harrison County, Indiana
Chert concretion in the shape of a T. rex tooth On Right: Shark-tooth-shaped rock composed of chert
Lake Cumberland, Kentucky and limestone. On left: real fossil shark tooth from Florida
for comparison, Hardin - Meade Co., Kentucky
“Not-Quite Ready for Primetime Fossils”
Egg-Like Scale, Skin & Turtle-Patterns Wood-Like
Faces & Oddities Fossils that are not what they appear
Pseudofossil Main Page
Created February 22, 2010, Updated August 3, 2011