- Solenopora jurassica
- Middle Jurassic
- White Limestone Formation
- Gloucestershire, England
- Specimen measures approx. 4 3/4″ wide.
“Called Solenopora jurassica, these fossils were unearthed in Britain where they are dubbed “Beetroot Stones”. According to a new study, their coloration comes from natural pigments suffused by the element Boron. Most biological colors of past geological ages are lost to time, existing only in the imaginations eye. But this fossils delicate reddish hue has survived intact, appearing in much the same tones as it did over 150 million years ago. “It is quite exciting to find anything colorful from organisms that existed at a time when dinosaurs ruled the world” said Klaus Wolkenstein, a chemist at Austria’s Johannes Kepler University and co-author of the new analysis published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Wolkenstein cautioned that fossilization may still have altered the pigmentation, changing its hue to something less than exactly original. But it’s still close, and no other Boron containing biological pigments have ever been found, making Solenopora jurassica’s color truly unique!