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Identifying Petrified Wood

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posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 04:09 PM
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If anyone can please explain who paleontologist/archaeologist determine the tree species of a piece of petrified wood? And can it be done without specialized scientific equipment?
edit on 3-12-2014 by IndependentAgent because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 04:28 PM
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a reply to: IndependentAgent

I have a piece of petrified wood my father brought back from California(?), and I will see him in a few minutes for dinner. I will ask and see if he know what type of tree it came from.

When I think about it, I thought of a fictional scenario where there was a wizard or sorcery battle between two mages long ago in a time forgotten by modern man and one result was that forrest was petrified into rock. That would have been cool to see. There is the story in the Bible where Lots wife was turned into a pillar of salt by looking back at Sodom & Gomorah when the angels destroyed them in some type of explosion. It makes you wonder if there was some kind of technology used by who knows long ago that had that type of effect. Today we think it was all myth, but maybe not.

I will get back to you if I find out the type of wood.



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 04:32 PM
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I am asking because I am in possession of a piece of petrified wood. Or rather, I am 99% sure it is.



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 04:41 PM
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If there is a local museum or university, take it to the archaeological department there. Even if they can't tell you any exact info, they can probably point you in the right direction.



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 04:54 PM
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I am just afraid they have to damage it in some why to do so.



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 05:10 PM
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I have a beautiful large piece of blue petrified wood. Have no idea what kind of tree it's an impression of, never thought to find out, and am now interested in knowing. Thanks OP!



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 05:10 PM
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a reply to: IndependentAgent

'Invasive'' tests often employ quite small and discrete areas of the sample. It is not always necessary to employ these methods however.

This is a good first search article. There are many others on this internet thingy.

Taking it to an Earth Scientist would be a good idea if you want more information, or if there is a local lapidary club, someone there might know something.

Ask questions, get out and about, read widely!


Oh, a picture wood (see what I did there?) be great too.


edit on 3-12-2014 by aorAki because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 05:26 PM
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a reply to: IndependentAgent

My old man had a petrified potato he used as a paper weight.

www.potatorock.com...

Here's a link. Maybe it might help you.



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 09:10 PM
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a reply to: IndependentAgent

Well, spoke with my father and he got the pieces at an area near the park in Arizona. He was in the Army and at the Yuma Weather Test Station in Arizona (as it was known at the time). That was around 1958, so he doesn't recall a lot about it. They were supposedly coniferous trees, but he did not know what type. I did find a site about it that may help answer some of your questions.

Petrified Forest National Park

Good luck with finding out more information!




edit on 3/12/14 by spirit_horse because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 04:08 AM
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Thanks everyone. If I get an answer, I will let you know.



posted on Dec, 6 2014 @ 08:08 AM
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This should be done the same way you identify what type of tree regular wood came from. Even though it's mineralized, the wood grain structure should be preserved. If you can identify the woodgrain or endgrain pattern, that should narrow it down pretty quick as to what kind of tree it's from. Only problem or difficulty may be with the coloration (mineral colors may not be the same as that of the non-petrified wood), but with a microscope other details like pore structures could be seen that would help identify the tree species.

So if you do some research in identifying wood by grain pattern, that should answer half of your question.



posted on Dec, 6 2014 @ 09:23 AM
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originally posted by: Andami
If there is a local museum or university, take it to the archaeological department there. Even if they can't tell you any exact info, they can probably point you in the right direction.
Yes, you need to find yourself a Paleo-archaeobotanist. I happen to know one, but that's only helpful if you live in Southern Ontario. Meanwhile, cell structure and such should be visible microscopically, and give a clear idea of the species of the fossilized wood.



posted on Dec, 6 2014 @ 09:48 AM
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originally posted by: JohnnyCanuck

originally posted by: Andami
If there is a local museum or university, take it to the archaeological department there. Even if they can't tell you any exact info, they can probably point you in the right direction.
Yes, you need to find yourself a Paleo-archaeobotanist. I happen to know one, but that's only helpful if you live in Southern Ontario. Meanwhile, cell structure and such should be visible microscopically, and give a clear idea of the species of the fossilized wood.


I'm nowhere near Southern Ontario



posted on Dec, 6 2014 @ 10:08 AM
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You really don't need a paleo-anything. Although it is possible to find a specialist in fossilized trees, as good or better of an expert needed here is a botanist specializing in trees - dendrologist- from that region. It will be way easier to find one of those.

It may be possible to get down to the genus level, but can be very difficult to determine exact species without leaves/needles and/or inflorescence. Keying even a living tree down to the species can be difficult at times depending on the ecological variety in that location.

It helps that you know its geographical origin. There are some places where there is petrified wood by the ton and often from just a handful of species

If you are not even sure if it is petrified wood or not, a stone/gem guy can probably sort that out pretty quickly, or just show us a closeup pic or two and it is pretty easy to tell.


Just be careful in that some things have been collected from certain locations illegally and you probably don't want to lose it.



posted on Dec, 6 2014 @ 10:08 AM
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originally posted by: IndependentAgent

originally posted by: JohnnyCanuck

originally posted by: Andami
If there is a local museum or university, take it to the archaeological department there. Even if they can't tell you any exact info, they can probably point you in the right direction.
Yes, you need to find yourself a Paleo-archaeobotanist. I happen to know one, but that's only helpful if you live in Southern Ontario. Meanwhile, cell structure and such should be visible microscopically, and give a clear idea of the species of the fossilized wood.


I'm nowhere near Southern Ontario
I figured, but you should be able to get an opinion from a non-invasive examination by a local university. There is generally always an expert around, and they are most often generous with their expertise. Good luck!



posted on Dec, 6 2014 @ 10:20 AM
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a reply to: JohnnyCanuck

I would hope I can find someone with the knowledge.



posted on Dec, 6 2014 @ 10:56 AM
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a reply to: IndependentAgent

There are a wealth of forums online that focus on fossils and so deal with petrified wood, there will be plenty of knowledge and advice to be had there; plus they are not difficult to find - i located a few in a matter of seconds



posted on Dec, 6 2014 @ 10:57 AM
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originally posted by: skalla
a reply to: IndependentAgent

There are a wealth of forums online that focus on fossils and so deal with petrified wood, there will be plenty of knowledge and advice to be had there; plus they are not difficult to find - i located a few in a matter of seconds




Thanks for all the input everyone!



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