Devonian creature or random
The Devonian chert from Rhynie, famous for the preservation of a more
or less watery habitat
including early land plants and small creatures, has provided
discoveries for more than a hundred years. As there are
several unique ones among the own finds
Chert - 50, 69, 107, 148),
in the sense that the plant or creature was unknown before and is now
known as one specimen only, it may be concluded
that Rhynie has to offer more unique things. One
of them is presented here: Fig.1.
Fig.1a,b: Peculiar fossil
of uncommon aspect on a cut face of Rhynie chert, with drawing of
Image width 4mm.
found in 2001.
At first sight,
attention may be drawn to what seems to be a bulky arthropod of
about 3mm length with a few details seen in partially clear outline but
nevertheless enigmatic: Fig.2.
One cannot even be sure whether it is a creature at
all or a mere random assemblage of unrelated parts.
Two conspicuous objects of apparently rod-like
Fig.1 with a pointed tip each, (below in Fig.3 and above
in Fig.4), seem to somehow belong together. They
do not resemble arthropod
leg parts or charophyte
Fig.2 (far left): Enigmatic parts with
partially clearly seen contours.
Detail of Fig.1, image height 1mm; same
magnification for Figs. 2-4.
Fig.3: Lower end of the seemingly rod-like object in Fig.1
with pointed tip.
Fig.4: Upper end of the
object with pointed tip, left in Fig.1.
One may wonder why the two tips are clearly seen on this incidentally
plane. The seemingly rod-like
objects in Fig.1 might be platelets with a sharp edge appearing
as a tip in cross-section.
are a few details of the unknown parts clearly seen but not
these structures are quite extraordinary, the chert sample is not
uncommon. It is of an ordinary type, with land plants and fungi. None
of the ten cut faces of this sample has revealed structures like
those in Figs.1-4.
Suggestions concerning their true nature would be welcome.