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Thread: Fossils Found on Mars?

  1. #1
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    Fossils Found on Mars?

    The Curiosity rover has run across some intriguing small objects on Mars. One astrobiologist has observed that they look very like the trace fossils from the Ordovician Era he has studied. The rover had gone past the site, but was brought back to it again, when the peculiar objects were noticed in the images secured there. These mineralized worm-like traces will be studied further using the Chemcam and Alpha Particle and X ray spectrometers on the rover. Given what we believe we know about the conditions on Mars in the remote past, worm-like fossils do not seem out of the question. Please find a link below to an article with further information, and images of the possible fossils.

    https://www.space.com/39294-mars-rov...tructures.html

  2. #2
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    Both Oppy and Curiosity have found intriguing objects. So far it hasn't rissen to the level of "extra ordinary evidence."

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    Small complaint: there was a survey at the end of the space.com article, and as I tried to scroll past it a message came up on my iPhone saying, thank you for voting. But I have no idea which choice I voted for!
    As above, so below

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    I don't think any of the rovers on Mars have sufficient instrumentation to reliably determine if objects are fossils, so I'm not even holding judgement. I'm just considering it background noise.

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  5. #5
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    Some of the strange shapes atop the Martian rocks appear rounded in cross-section. Would geological phenomena like crystal veins in rock, or cracks in rocks, later filled with other minerals, appear tubular? It seems that they would be more or less random in cross-section. Rounded, tubular shapes seem to hint at the remains of simple, once-living, things. It appears that this is what some biologists are (very carefully) suggesting.

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    Most of the curious formations on Mars' surface seem to be the result of ćolian erosion - wind borne particles wearing away at the rock over many aeons. Could this be something along those lines- maybe a hard vein or deposit exposed and smoothed down by the wind?

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    Perhaps, but it's interesting to note than some of the tubular forms look as if they've been crushed flat, rather than smoothed round by wind driven dust. The difference could be caused by harder and softer mineral veins. It could also be that some worm-like organisms were crushed before being fossilized.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eburacum45 View Post
    Most of the curious formations on Mars' surface seem to be the result of ćolian erosion - wind borne particles wearing away at the rock over many aeons. Could this be something along those lines- maybe a hard vein or deposit exposed and smoothed down by the wind?
    That is probably precisely the mechanism. I've seen many similar-looking rocks in the American western deserts. The differential erosion rates cause some really interesting shapes, with more resistant crystalline structures exposed in relief.

  9. #9
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    Of all the odd shapes that have been found on Mars by all the rovers, this object from sol 34 of Oppy's mission is still the most interesting so far. You don't need to let your imagination run wild. This is something that actually looks like a fossil. To bad they couldn't find hundreds of them. One anomaly can be dismissed as just a funny looking rock.
    https://mars.nasa.gov/mer/gallery/al...0P2933M2M1.JPG

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superluminal View Post
    You don't need to let your imagination run wild. This is something that actually looks like a fossil.
    Our perceptions differ. I have to let my imagination loose in order to see a fossil.
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  11. #11
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    It does appear to have segmentation properties, kind of like overlapping terracotta........or a scorpions tail......just an analogy.

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