Any idea why this looks like a centipede fossil in this piece of not-fossilized wood?
I’ll be back later to check your guesses!
The simple answer is bugs.
The long answer is that the long bumpy center–or body of the centipede–is where a beetle laid eggs back when this branch was alive and had bark. Each of the eggs hatched into a larvae, and each little bug began chewing its way into the softer cambium layer under the wood, and we suppose a little into the wood, making the ‘legs’ of the centipede.
Did you notice that those legs grow larger as the bug chewed along? It was growing bigger! Eventually they matured enough that the larvae chewed a hole to the outside of the bark, metamorphosed into a beetle and left!
So this is like a natural apartment house!