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My son recently found this:

enter image description here

while walking at Waterloo Bay in Northern Ireland. It looks (to my untrained eye) like it could be a plant fossil. Is this correct? If so, is it possible to tell anything more about it?

It was found at the boundary of the Triassic and Jurassic layers, but had been broken free so might have come from elsewhere. The rock type matches the Jurassic layers. The included photograph covers a height of 15-20cm.

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Its definitely a flowering plant which evolved in the early Mesozoic Era. Also, Pangaea was beginning to break up, but not fully broken up so climate would be than likely be Continental-Maritime allowing for dry weather and water cycle contributions from the surrounding body of water as it broke apart. Also, this land was positioned a little closer to the equator at that time and if found in Ireland, it would have been 'attached' to northwest Africa and the east coast of North America to the west making it possible from a climate and geographical situation. Have a look at this video of Continental Drift movements of parts of the world at 200 million yrs ago in the roughly similar time period you suggest: view at 3:47 for 200 mya and 4:03 to view the recognizable formation of the British Isles. Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwWWuttntio

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  • $\begingroup$ What makes you think it is flowering plant,fossil identification answer require some kind of justification, even if just a linked image. $\endgroup$ – John Dec 14 '19 at 19:31
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Your best bet is to take this to a local natural history museum they are usually more than happy to identify things, and they will be familiar with the local fossils. They may also be interested in exploring the location it came from. Just based on the image it might be a fossil or it might not, the waterloo bay area is not know for producing plant fossils but marine fossils so a marine animal is more likely, it could also just be chemical stain which are not uncommon in mudstones and shales. just from the image it is impossibly to say for certain.

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  • $\begingroup$ Plants fall into rivers and the rivers carry them to the sea. Plants grow on cliff tops and ledges, cliff tops erode and the plants fall into the sea. On the other hand they may be marine plants, the Fossil Forum doesn't say. I doubt that they are marine animals, I don't see any resemblance to crinoids. $\endgroup$ – Michael Walsby Dec 15 '19 at 9:19
  • $\begingroup$ Who said anything about crinoids? It is not about how to get plant material there but about preservational PH, additionally this has no identifiable features other then the tiny fragment near the top the rest of it is just chemical staining of an irregular rock. if there is a fossil there it a fragment lss than a cm across. $\endgroup$ – John Dec 15 '19 at 14:59
  • $\begingroup$ What other plant-like fossil marine animals are there, apart from crinoids? The poor state of preservation is a problem,I agree,but I certainly don't agree it is an animal. $\endgroup$ – Michael Walsby Dec 15 '19 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelWalsby to be clear I don't think it is a fossil at all, if there is one it is only that little divot near the top the rest of it is just chemical staining. often when you have a fossil fragment it greatis an ionic halo that causes chemical deposits around ti,especially in cracks. the fact the stain occurs in multiple layers of the stone supports it being a stain and not a fossil as well. since it a marine deposit that little fragment is most likely a shell fragment. $\endgroup$ – John Dec 16 '19 at 2:54
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Your fossil is almost certainly closely related to some fossil plants from West Malaysia depicted on the website of The Fossil Forum, and also assigned to the Triassic - Jurassic boundary. The Malaysian fossils, however, are in a better state of preservation than yours. It may be that S.E. Asia and Europe were closer together in those days, but I couldn't swear to it.

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    $\begingroup$ a link at least would be nice since you don't identify an common features. $\endgroup$ – John Dec 14 '19 at 19:29
  • $\begingroup$ Thin, straight stem with ladder of broad leaves on either side, height of around 9 inches, and Triassic - Jurassic boundary were the common features. $\endgroup$ – Michael Walsby Dec 15 '19 at 8:04
  • $\begingroup$ what ladder, notice the stain is uniform and only interrupted by cracks in the rock, there is no inherent texture. $\endgroup$ – John Dec 15 '19 at 14:52

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