Posts Tagged ‘kansas gems’

Dinosaur Egg or Poop…that is the question.

Concretion Found in Kansas

Concretion Found in Kansas

A little while back, while metal detecting near Fort Scott, KS, I came across a small round ball that I was certain was either a dinosaur egg or petrified poop…or a geode perhaps.  It was lying on the ground in plain site near a stream bed.  In all reality I had no idea what this round cracked rock thing really was.  So, I stuck it away thinking someday I would meet someone that would know exactly what it was.  Recently my wife has gained considerable interest in the hobby of rockhounding and gem hunting.  This, of course, means I have a lot of learning to do.  We have finally found something that we both can enjoy together.  So, it is important to keep her interest piqued.  This means finding gems and minerals for her to dig.

During my research on gems and minerals in our area (which let me tell you are scarce) I learned that certain parts of Missouri are very well known for its geodes. Kansas has had several meteorites found, and Arkansas is well known for its diamonds.  While perusing the images I ran across one of those peculiar egg shaped pieces like the one I found and posted about the previous year.  The caption said that it was not a geode but something called a concretion…I think I solved the mystery.  But, what the heck is a concretion?

A concretion, according to Wikipedia is, “… a hard, compact mass of sedimentary rock formed by the precipitation of mineral cement within the spaces between the sediment grains. Concretions are often ovoid or spherical in shape, although irregular shapes also occur. The word ‘concretion’ is derived from the Latin con meaning ‘together’ and crescere meaning ‘to grow’. Concretions form within layers of sedimentary strata that have already been deposited. They usually form early in the burial history of the sediment, before the rest of the sediment is hardened into rock. This concretionary cement often makes the concretion harder and more resistant to weathering than the host stratum.”

Apparently these things are very difficult to identify because they come in all sorts of sizes and shapes…no two are exactly alike.  They are frequently mistaken for a fossil or dinosaur egg.  Although I have yet to have a geologist look at it, I am fairly certain this is what it is.  It is all I can do not to crack this thing open and see what is inside.  If I ever do either of these two things I will be certain to post it for readers to see.  If anyone has any further input on this find, I would be happy to hear it.

Although Kansas is very limited in its valuable gems and minerals, there are surely many other “gems” to be found.  There are geodes in the region, a small amount of glacier gold can be found up north, and for sure Kansas is the “place to be” to find meteorites.  Although this concretion is most likely not worth a whole lot, it was really neat to discover.  The purpose of this post is simply to let everyone see it.  Perhaps it will help someone else properly identify any “dino poop”  or “dino eggs” they may think they found.  Good luck and happy hunting!