Here’s another weird fossil-looking thing I found by splitting open some shale in a Devonian formation around Wardensville, WV. This formation also had trilobites and crinoid stem segments, and I think there’s a couple of crinoid segments embedded in this fossil. But I have no idea what the leafy thing is. At least, it kind of looks like a leaf, but I don’t know if anything resembling leaves were around in shallow seas around the Devonian time. Any ideas? Thanks in advance!
This looks for all the world like a diagenetic oxidation halo around a bar-shaped fossil (crinoid pluricolumnal?), caused by bacterial activity after the death of the animal. Especially given the halos around the other fossils in the same rock.
If this were the Hunsrück Slate, I would give more pause. But since soft-bodied preservation is unheard of anywhere else in the Devonian, and since Appalachia’s Devonian rocks are sufficiently well studied that we would know about instances of soft-bodied preservation, there is no good reason to consider the possibility here. Just a diagenetic halo.