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Fossil use?

This is a discussion on Fossil use? within the Newt and Salamander Help forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; I'm currently studying to become a palaeontologist and i love fossils, would i be able to use some of my ...

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Old 7th June 2010   #1 (permalink)
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Cool Fossil use?

I'm currently studying to become a palaeontologist and i love fossils, would i be able to use some of my specimens as decore for my tiger? I have several megalodon teeth, several "shells", several smaller ribs, a large (maybe human sized) femur, and several miscellaneous toes, fingers, vertebrae (all are small).

The collection is of mixed species and i have yet to identify all of the them let alone memorize what belongs to who (working on it tho), the specimens in question mostly come from metal rich environments, i know for a fact that a few of the megalodon teeth will react in water and leech out some salts, iron, etc (not in lethal amounts, but a noticeable amount none-the-less). Will the samples leech minerals and other nasties into my guys substrate or does that only become a concern when they are in a tropical/submerged environment?

Thanks for any help you guys can provide, i currently keep an abnormally stable (won't leech no matter what i try) megalodon tooth in his tank just behind his water dish, it gives the tank a very peculiar look and it always reminds why i love palaeontology and why i have dedicated so much in my pursuit of it.



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Old 8th June 2010   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fossil use?

I don't see how they would create a problem in a terrestrial tank. I say go for it.....and then post pictures!



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Old 8th June 2010   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fossil use?

i would love to post pictures, but my camera is still out of the picture until it comes back, lol, picture reference when talking (writting?) about a camera.

in anycase im going to put in a couple shells, the femur, and a few teeth to experiment with what he crawls over and how the actual fossils will react to his humid environment, i'll keep ya'll updated with the results.



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Old 8th June 2010   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fossil use?

Please do.... and bum a camera! I'd love to see that.



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Old 10th June 2010   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fossil use?

UPDATE: (still no photos) the femur started to give off a rusty residue where it was close the spray bottle nozzle and where it was slightly buried on the 'wet' side of his tank, i had to remove it as the residue would hitch a ride with any collected water droplets and "tint" the coconut fibre, the femur was most likely mineralized in an iron rich environment.

the same occured to a couple teeth, the shells are being absolutley fantastic with one exception which seemed to be deteriorating in the tank, that shell was promptly removed from the tank, a few odd and ends showed some unusual coloration after a few days, one particulalry interesting coloration was on a claw in which it had red spots forming (it kind of looks like the claw from a clown dinosaur now), the rest had bland stains from the freshly watered coconut fibre, im guessing they were either coated in a fine layer of talkum or they were in a 'white' environment when they were fossilized.

so far the tally reads
-7 removed
-4 remain

P.S. the inert tooth fell in his water bowl for a couple hours before i noticed it, it has shown no signs at all of seepage.



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Old 13th June 2010   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fossil use?

LAST UPDATE: I have removed the majority of the fossils as a precautionary measure, he really loved climbing over the spiky and rough parts of the shells and would end up breaking them little by little, the other little bits were removed as i saw him grab a hold of a tiny rib when trying to eat a worm, and a majority of the teeth showed signs of leeching various residues from the constant mistings.

Now the tank has 1 megalodon tooth and 1 toe shaped chunk of fossilized wood (which the tiger uses for shedding and perching on, just when he thinks i have food for him), all in all this was a good learning experience and i lost a couple inches of substrate (rusted or calcified).



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Old 13th June 2010   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fossil use?

instead of using them , try to go down to a beach that is good for fossils and have a look for dark gray roundish rocks, they will have ammonites in them ,i found a load at whitby in the uk (however i understand you are in canada)and they dont degrade as they are in a slate like rock that is fine with water :)
if you can find a website for them , Lyme Regis ammonites would be good.

hope this has been helpful, probably not but...

cheers harry



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Old 13th June 2010   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fossil use?

i actually have a couple from a source in the UK but I'am using those for something else atm, same with a new gemstone arrival that is simply stunning, when the studies are over i will definately use them in my tank.



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Old 13th June 2010   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fossil use?

I have a fossil sea urchin, and a mystery something in my tank that I found in my garden..I had slightly forgotten they where there. I have never had a problem with them.



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Old 14th June 2010   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fossil use?

most inverts form stable fossils as they behind a calcium rich skeleton, i wouldn't suspect them to cause any problems unless their tank was saltwater or of low pH, most shells and sea life are good to use in tanks except for the river or mineral-rich specimens in which case they are exposed to a lot of different minerals and chemicals which they tend to hold onto and leech out into less mineralized environements (treated tap water, urban rain water, even glacial spring water).



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