Peanut Wood Fossil Pendant - 1.78"
Peanut Wood Fossil Pendant - 1.78"
Peanut wood is a special type of fossilized wood which contains several silica "peanuts" within the material. These features were created when shipworms ate holes in prehistoric driftwood. Then, mud filled with tiny protozoa with silica skeletons filled these holes, eventually fossilizing into unique patterns within the wood. This material is known from the Windalia Radiolarite Formation in western Australia and dates back over 112,000,000 years to the Cretaceous.
This pendant contains a polished 1.78" piece of stunning peanut wood. It is an excellent piece of scientific jewelry that looks fantastic with any wardrobe.
A unique fossil wood
Fossil wood is an incredible material that allows us to peer into the deep past of our planet and put together a picture of the prehistoric world. Peanut wood is a unique class of fossilized wood found in western Australia’s Windalia Radiolarite Formation, which dates back over 112,000,000 years to the Cretaceous.
The fossil’s spots result from cavities left in the material by shipworms, a bivalve mollusk that eats driftwood. These holes were later home to radiolarians, tiny protozoa with silica skeletons.
As the wood fossilized, the shape of these cavities was preserved by the siliceous ooze of radiolarian skeletons, creating marks that resemble peanuts in this utterly unique wood fossil.
This pendant contains a polished piece of peanut wood that is over 112,000,000 years old. The fossil is set into a sterling silver backing on an 18" chain and comes in a padded black jewelry box for safekeeping. An informational card that serves as the certificate of authenticity can be found underneath the padded lining of the display box.
Each peanut wood pendant is a completely unique fossil with patterns carved out by prehistoric shipworms and filled by siliceous ooze containing radiolarian skeletons.
Several pendants are available in the collection below, photographed and listed individually by size!
MORE ABOUT PEANUT WOOD
Millions of years in the making
Just as minerals can seep into an animal’s remains and preserve its shape, fossilized wood is an impression of a tree in life, rendered in stone. The process is the same as in other fossilization, beginning with a tree buried in sediment, volcanic discharge, or flooding water.
Once submerged, the organic material is steadily replaced by foreign minerals like silica, calcium carbonate, or iron pyrites through permineralization. Not only is the wood’s shape preserved but also its cellular structure which can then be examined by paleobotanists.
When a piece of fossil wood forms in this way it is said to be petrified, preserving a snapshot of the tree as it lived. Some spots, like the Petrified Forest National Park, are home to innumerable fossilized trees, an entire ecosystem preserved in stone. If, however, the organic material breaks down before it can be replaced, a cast of the tree may be preserved instead, later filled in with inorganic material in the shape of the tree.
These fossils are of less use in speculating on a given tree species, as the inner anatomy of the plant is not preserved.
The "Peanuts" in Peanut Wood
Peanut wood is a particularly striking form of fossilized wood found in western Australia’s Windalia Radiolarite Formation, dating to the Early Cretaceous. The fossil’s spots result from cavities that were left in the material from shipworms, a bivalve mollusk that eats wood. These holes were later filled in with mud-carrying radiolarians, tiny protozoa with silica skeletons.
As the wood fossilized, the shape of these cavities was preserved by the radiolarian-rich material, creating an utterly unique wood fossil. The material’s name owes itself to these spots whose color and shape often resemble peanuts. By cutting through the material, one can track the burrowing of the shipworms that feasted on the wood, shedding some light on these Cretaceous creatures.
Botannini LF. Wood : Types, Properties, and Uses. Nova Science Publishers; 2011.
Fetherston, J Michael, et al. Gemstones of Western Australia. Geological Survey of Western Australia and Gemmological Association of Australia (Western Australian Division), 2017.
Mustoe G. Wood Petrifaction: A New View of Permineralization and Replacement. Geosciences (Basel). 2017;7(4):119-. doi:10.3390/geosciences7040119
Scurfield, G., and E.R. Segnit. “Petrifaction of Wood by Silica Minerals.” Sedimentary geology 39.3 (1984): 149–167. Web.