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  1. #1
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    Default Old Wood History

    During a toilet break on a trip some 50 years ago I picked up a rock from the side of a gravel road as it looked out of place and have always wondered what it was. My guess was petrified wood, others have said a bone or just a rock.


    It’s about 5x5x3cm, There are round sections looking from the top and linear lines on the outside with traverse cracks filled with an opalised material. Recently I contacted the Museum to see if they could help in identification and they suggested I bring it as they couldn’t identify it from the pics.


    Free entry on arrival if you have something to show, and up to the relevant floor where they decided to call a geologist up to help. This is where it got interesting for me. It is indeed a piece of petrified wood of the extinct Glossopteris tree from the Permian Period and is over 250 million years old. Protected by lichen which stopped it from rotting in the swampy ground when it was broken from the tree and over the years silicon leached in to become quartz.


    The Permian Period ended with the largest ever extinction event that took out 95% of marine species as well as 70% of all land organisms. It is also the only known mass extinction of insects. The Permian Period preceded the Triassic and Jurassic known as the age of the dinosaurs.


    So there it is, a piece of wood, once a living plant, older than the dinosaurs, it’s been sitting in drawers and shelves for 50 years, nearly a lifetime for us but only the blink of an eye for it.

    274DA5AE-726B-4862-BB19-9708BBB2FE49.jpg 749C0A42-E054-43D8-A85A-304969E130B3.jpg


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  3. #2
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    Default

    That's very cool. Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. #3
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    Jun 2000
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    Western Australia
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    https://www.usatoday.com/story/trave...sit/463822002/

    Back in the 70's we visited this petrified forest site in Arizona ,it was interesting to say the least showing what was once a forest was now looking like stone.
    Johnno

    Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don't have film.

  5. #4
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    Oberon, NSW
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    In a previous life I spent a decade or so in an Open Cut coal mine in Latrobe Valley, driving 'dozers around to clean up around the feet of the big dredges, amongst other things.

    The formations of fallen trees, etc., were very clearly visible on the freshly cut surface, along with the occasional partial fossilised animal. Only to crumble away into a dusty mud with exposure after a mere hour or three.

    Occasionally you'd see glint of fool's gold peering out from the dark... but it seemed to be a rather unstable form of Marcasite. Instead of taking decades to decompose it'd crumble away in a matter of weeks. The Rock-hound in me tried in vain to get a good specimen or two. [sigh]

    I do have some nice samples of "proper" petrified wood (couldn't call myself a Rock-hound if I didn't! ) but I've never tried dating them, nor given any thought as to whether 'twas possible to ID the 'original' specimen.

    Perhaps I should...
    I may be weird, but I'm saving up to become eccentric.

    - Andy Mc (AKA "Ghost who posts." )

  6. #5
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    Great subject and everything to do with wood IMO.

    Thanks, Euge

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skew ChiDAMN!! View Post
    I do have some nice samples of "proper" petrified wood (couldn't call myself a Rock-hound if I didn't! ) but I've never tried dating them, nor given any thought as to whether 'twas possible to ID the 'original' specimen.

    Perhaps I should...
    Yep, I was the same, I just got it out occasionally then back in the drawer and never really worried about it until SWMBO (bone) pushed me (wood) to find out. Really only expected a yes or no from the museum and was pleasantly surprised to level of detail given once the geologist came in. If you come to Sydney drop into the museum for an opinion.

  8. #7
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    Jun 1999
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    Westleigh, Sydney
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    I'm of the 5th generation to have (briefly, in my case) to have worked in the mining industry, and it seems like all the specimens that have been collected by those 5 generations are in a big box in my shed. I once started trying to catalogue them, but it was way beyond my capabilities, and of course, most were not labelled as to where or when they were collected.
    However, I do know that there is some of Skew's Latrobe Valley lignite, as well as a bottle of the first oil found in Australia (Rough Range, WA), Wolfram from King Island (father was there at start up), Bauxite from Weipa (uncle was with the first CRA exploration party there) and some fossilised wood from South Australia. If my Granddaughter isn't interested when she's older, I'll give them to a museum.
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