Charcoal Trace Fossil
Location: Hyner, PA
While it is hard to exactly piece together the full sequence of events, what probably happened was that, similar to modern forest fires, the area became too dry and when a rolling lightning storm ignited the dry plants only to be buried by a flash flood from a surge of water and debris from the Acadian Uplands. The burnt material was fossilized like shells and fish, until the outcrop was exposed some 360,000,000 years later. It's truly remarkable that such trace fossils exist, providing evidence of past forest fires and offers great insight into the ecological dynamics at play so long ago.
This specimen is located in the Sholesonian Fossil Collection and is currently off display. It was found at the Red Hill Site, in Hyner, PA, USA and was collected with permission and donated by an anonymous individual. FOS 128 belongs to the Duncannon Member of the Catskill Formation. It is one of hundreds of specimens found in the Sholesonian's massive collection of minerals, rocks, fossils, insects, shells, books, and artifacts.