...when you treat them nice and with care is organic-walled microfossils! Yep, I managed to get a few (only 3) well preserved (hear the sarcasm!) chitinozoa out of highly metamorphosed rocks of the Erzgebirge! My professor read and loved my report (meaning I cannot be too wrong) which is wonderful news! This is the first time I was told "it was a joy reading it"! Ok, enough exclamation marks! As I wrote in an earlier post I made a handful of thin section to examine with a polarisation microscope in the hope to prove or disprove the presence of organic-walled microfossils in these so far undescribed rocks. My seminar paper grew to 18 pages and far beyond the initally set aim of 8 but fortunately only to add a lot of detail and quality as I think. I never worked on organic-walled microfossils before, and actually I never work with fossils because I'm deeply into mineral deposits, but this was really fun. Also I have to admit it is amazing what can be done with a budget of exactly 0 Euros. It did cost me a lot of time in the lab to prepare the thin sections myself and I surely was an annoyance to the poor lab technician who had to demonstrate me everything. So what did I find? These:
A slender chitinozoan example.
...just like this one, as well. Perhaps they are related.
Above you see 3 neat microfotos of the suspects sought. They are all a bit tiny in comparison to the literature but still within the realm of the possible. Considering the results and occurence time of chitinozoa I dismissed my original ideas and decided these must be part of the Hermsdorf Phyllites. Precambrian or Upper Carboniferous chitinozoa would have been a bit of a far fetch and the rock samples themselfs shared more characteristics with Graphite-Phyllites than Precambrian or Carboniferous Schists. I still should mail this seminar paper to the mine geologist who originally gave is the task to map out the Hermsdorf Phyllites. If I remember correctly he once told me it would be a first to find microfossils in those rocks. So these are Ordovician chitinozoa. Cool. Also cool are some metamophic microtextures. Here you go:
A nice foto of crenulation cleavage under the microscope. Note the quartz in the centre and clay minerals and organics at the sides.
Parallel foliation and segregated quartz. There is no foto of it but it forms a very nice mosaic in another sample.