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WHAT IS IT #1? If you guessed the graphic at the bottom as the fish Plecostomus, you are right. The Plecostomus is a catfish found in the tropics, such as the Brazilian Amazon River. It eats algae. You can read more on it by clicking here on Plecostomus.

Now about the other two items. Think they were frog tadpoles perhaps? Of slugs of some type? Actually they are milk weed pods, which your Curator thought looked somewhat like fish, and added them to the real fish, Plecostomus.



WHAT IS IT #2? If you guessed ferns or fossil ferns--Sorry!!! These are Manganese Dendrites. Manganese is a mineral. It flows into layers of matrix leaving the lovely fern-appearing residue you see in this four samples. They are God's artistic hand in nature--very delicate and certainly appearing to be some form of plant life--but they are not. If you would like to see more on Manganese Dendrites you can go to the page on Pseudo Fossils by clicking here.



WHAT IS IT #3? If you guessed fish food pellets--wrong!! If you guessed Dinosaur coprolite, again, wrong!! These are actually the claws from a Pleistocene Giant Land Tortoise, found by your Curator, at the Leisey Shell Pit, Ruskin, Florida. (by the way, if you don''t know what coprolite is, it is fossilized feces or poop. Many Rockhounds like to collect coprolite and some of it is even agatized and made into jewelry--weird, huh?) If you would like to see more fossils from the Leisey Shell Pit, just click here.



WHAT IS IT #4? If you guessed the nose of a reptile--well it does look like a nose. In this age of ever new electronic devices, this could be a sonar device. However, if you guessed a Banana bud, you are correct. The blossom is actually the smaller yellow flower, but the thing you see when looking up at a Banana tree as it starts to make bananas is this large maroon-colored bud.



WHAT IS IT #5? Yes, it looks like a twig which was growing out of a rock. But that would be on land. This is actually called a "Hold-fast", probably from a Sea Lily. Hold-fasts are somewhat like the roots of a terrestrial plant HOWEVER, this a Hold-fast does not draw nutrients from below, but acts only to hold an animal (Sea Lilies are not plants, but animals) to the floor of the ocean. Fossil Sea Lilies are called "Crinoids" and we have a page on Crinoids, if you wish to learn more about these popular fossils.



WHAT IS IT #6? Some snakes, such as in the Sahara Desert and Western U.S. desert areas, bury themselves, all but their heads, and lie in wait for prey. However, this is not a snake's head. This is a "Cuttlefish" which is a cephalopod, a marine animal, related to squid, octopus, nautilus. Cephalopods are an ancient group that first evolved sometime during the Late Cambrian.



WHAT IS IT #7? This is a CHEVRON from a Hadrosaurus dinosaur, found in the Hell Creek Formation in Eastern Montana, bone from a Hadrosaurus dinosaur. The Hadrosaurus was called the 'Duck-billed' dinosaur and was very large. It had a long heavy tail, which needed support. Along the top of the tail, as part of the Hadrosaurus' backbone, were the vertebrae, which supported the heavy weight of the tail from the top. However, more support was needed under the vertebrae, which is why these dinosaur grew Chevrons. The wide part of the Y, was up, under the vertebrae. However, the Chevron bone was not attached to the vertebrae but was suspended under the vertebrae (much as your knee cap (patella) isn't attached to your leg bone, but the patella is tied to your leg bones with tendons and cartilage). The pointed part, i.e. the bottom of the Y was much longer than this Chevron bone shown, as it was broken off or lost by erosion, during the 65 million years it was in the ground waiting for your Curator to find it. The word Chevron is also used for the rank of an enlisted military person, on the sleeve of their uniform. Likewise, the Chevron Oil Company uses the Chevron for its company logo.



WHAT IS IT #8? This is a colony of tubes, made by reef-building tube worms. Your Curator found this colony of tube worm tubes, in the pounding surf, just off the beach in Hallandale Beach, Florida in about 2003. You can see other eArt Scans of these reef-building tube worms, and information on what they do by clicking on reef-building tube worms.



WHAT IS IT #9? The Bible says "Dust thou art, to dust returneth". This "What is it" proves that is true. These are Calcite {CaCO³} crystals, which are made from the material of the disintegrating bone. Your Curator found some Oligocene bones (about 35MYBP) on a ranch in Northwestern Nebraska. The bones were broken open, and the minerals in the interior of the bones, had eroded out of the bone, and started forming the Calcite crystals. CaCO³ is the same substance which forms stalactites and stalagmites in caves, where the acid in rain water, soaking through limestone rocks {which are chemically CaCO³} form those beautiful cave sculptures. This is a living animal becoming again becoming part of the Earth. Look at it closer.



WHAT IS IT #10? Japanese Yew Tree berries (Genus Taxus Species probably cuspidata) Combination seed (greenish white part--deadly poisonous as are the leaves, bark and all but the aril) and aril (purple or reddish part at base of the seed, which is actually a modified leaf which is edible but since the seed itself is deadly poisonous, it is doubtful that one should consider eating any of the Yew). Yew wood is used for medicinal purposes in many parts of the Earth, including for breast and uterus cancer. It is used as a Christmas evergreen in Britain and other parts of Europe. Prince Albert is credited with the Yew becoming traditional in Britain, however 40 years earlier Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III, used the Yew tree, at Christmas at Windsor to hang to hang toys and sweets and small wax candles were lit thereon for a party in 1800.



WHAT IS IT #11? Maple leaves falling from the tree act as nature's helicopters--however this is not a Maple Leaf. This is a small Oak leaf and a Cockroach wing laid across each other. They look a little similar, but one belongs to the Plant Kingdom and one belongs to the Animal Kingdom. Look at it closer.



WHAT IS IT #12? Tomato Worm Castings, i.e. poop. This pest turns into a beautiful butterfly, after it has destroyed your tomato plant. However, the poop, called a casting, is very geometric with vertical and horizontal lines. Also the castings are considered great fertilizer for plants. Plant thou are to plant returneth-something Biblical about that huh?



WHAT IS IT #13? This is a beautiful lichen which was growing in Houston, Harris County, Texas on a piece of a Water Oak tree which had fallen during Hurricane Ike in September, 2008. There are many forms of lichens and most have never been studied. This can tell a lot about the condition of the environment in which they live by their color, size and health. Some are edible, but like mushrooms, you need to know them, not take a chance.



WHAT IS IT #14? The right and left items are Crinoids stems and in the middle is a horn coral. These are animals, not a plants. Crinoids and Horn Coral have been around for over 3 million years, but still live in the ocean today. Crinoids today are called sea lilies or feather-stars. The Crinoids that make up the class Crinoidea of the echinoderms (phylum Echinodermata). The Crinoids have what is called a "hold-fast" that anchor them to the bottom of the ocean. The stalk or stem leads up to the calyx which is the head, which gathers the food with a fanning motion of the arms, into the mouth. An anal tube excretes the waste, also out of the calyx usually. The Horn Coral grow on the ocean bottom. All are marine animals.



WHAT IS IT #15? This is a Gall on an Oak tree branch. Galls are infections caused by viruses, fungi, or insect larvae. Only rarely do you see oak trees without some kind of gall on them.