Fossil dinosaur bone pieces in jars


Small pieces of real fossilized dinosaur bone from the Cretaceous period in the US (145 million years ago to 66 million years ago, when the non-avian dinosaurs went extinct).  The tall bottle with the cork is sealed but all the other containers will come to you with the lids held on by a removable elastic band so that you can tip out the contents and look at them! The photo is representative; actual specimens and their number will vary slightly.

Well known North American dinosaurs from the Cretaceous include Deinonychus, Utahraptor, Ankylosaurus, Hadrosaurus, Styracosaurus, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus and Troodon.

An explanation of how we know that this is fossilized bone:

If you have ever looked at the inside of a bone you will have noticed that there is a structure to it, varying in different parts of a bone. There is the dense outer wall of bone, which still has some porosity to it for blood vessels and also may show some directionality. There is also "spongy bone", full of porosities.  (The large bone showing bone structure is from the Ice Age!)

When a bone fossilizes, the hard parts of the bone are gradually changed to rock. The soft tissues that in life filled the pores and spongy areas of the bone rot away but mineral laden water can get into these spaces and deposit minerals in them, different than the minerals that make up the bone structure. So when we look at a piece of fossil bone, we may see different colours from different minerals, showing where the hard bone was and where the porous areas were. This structure is quite distinctive.

In the close-up photos you can see some pieces showing a directional structure (basically lines!). Other pieces are sections of more porous bone, where you can see different colours from the different minerals of the bone structure and the infilling of the porosities. There is red, dark grey, light grey, sand/orange, and sometimes clear quartz or similar filling the former voids.  

Short copper lidded bottle 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) tall
Tall copper lidded bottle 5/8 inch (1.6 cm) tall
Short wood topped bottle 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) tall
Tall wood topped bottle 7/8 inch (2.2 cm) tall
Corked glass bottle 7/8 inch (2.2 cm) tall