Minerals

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General Information

Dendrite

Dendrite is easily mistaken for fossilized plants, it is however a form of iron or manganese oxide, which is usually very 'branched' or dendritic (hence the name). The surface on which the dendrites grow is usually formed by limestone. They actually grow into the cracks between different layers of limestone. These structures are 2-dimensionaal. A 3-dimensional dendritic structure can be found in moss agate (see photo 3). Dendritic structures are not only found with iron or manganese oxides, but water can also form dendritic structures like snowflake icecrystals.[1]

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Chemical & Physical Information

Trivial NameDendrite
Chemical NameIron or Manganese Oxide
Chemical Formula(Fe,M)O
Density-
Molar mass-
Hardness-
Crytal systemDendritic
Unit cell?
Crystal habit?
Fracture?
Cleavage?
ColourBrown to Black
LusterDull
Streak?
OpacityOpaque
SafetySafe
ExtraIs formed in cracks.
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Photos

Dendrite

(3 cm)

Dendrite

(3 cm)

Dendrite

(5 mm)

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Sources

[1] Wikipedia

[2] Specimen from my personal collection, photo taken by me.