Sunday, August 23, 2009

Horn Coral Siphonophrentis elongata

Usually, the fragments of one of the largest horn corals to grow in the Louisville Kentucky area are not as large as the one shown in these pictures. This coral piece is well over 30 cm. It is the largest coral species found to grow here with the largest reported at 1.5 m which they mostly only reached lengths up to 60 cm.

This one was found in Louisville, Kentucky in the Jeffersonville Limestone. Reading the Kentucky Geological Survey Special Bulletin 19, Series XI, 1993: Fossils Beds of the Falls of the Ohio by Stephen Greb, Richard Hendricks, and Donald Chesnut, it says, "They are common in the coral, Amphipora ramosa, Brevispirifer gregarius, and fenestrate bryozoan-brachiopod zones in the Jeffersonville Limestone."


Anonymous said...

Cool! We occasionally see horn corals of nearly this size in Mississippian rocks in the Canadian Rockies.

I was interested to see Amphipora ramosa mentioned. This critter (a stick-shaped, branching stromatoporoid) occurs in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin and is a very important indicator fossil in the oil industry. It grows (er...rather grew) abundantly in quiet-water backreef lagoons. It is therefore valuable for mapping the locations of oil and gas bearing Devonian reefs in Alberta. It's quite common in equivalent Upper Devonian rocks exposed in the Rocky Mountains. Do you find much Amphipora in Kentucky?

--Howard (Calgary, AB, Canada)

Shamalama said...

You ought to see if you can grind that cross section flat and polish it so you can see the inner details better. It's a great piece for sure!

Fossil Detective said...


I am not sure if I am finding Amphipora or not.

Do you have any clear pictures of one?

One issue I have with the books I have been reading is they identify layers in my area by fossil name but I sometimes have a difficult time finding a clear picture of what exactly the fossil looks like.