Saturday, October 31, 2009

Falls of the Ohio Coral Pictures

The Indiana Memory Collection website contains a number pictures of corals found at the Falls of the Ohio State Park (Clarksville, Indiana). They are stored in a database and do not appear to have been indexed by search engines. So here is list and links to the species stored there:

HORN CORALS
Aemuliophyllum exiguum
Aulacophyllum perlamellosum (Hall)
Aulacophyllum sulcatum (d'Orbigny)
Tabulophyllum sinuosum (Hall)
Tabulophyllum? greeni (Davis)
Tabulophyllum? greeni (Davis)
Tabulophyllum? greeni (Davis)
Tabulophyllum sinuosum (Hall)
Tabulophyllum sinuosum (Hall)
Tabulophyllum sinuosum (Hall)
Tabulophyllum sinuosum (Hall)
Tabulophyllum sinuosum (Hall)
Tabulophyllum tripinnatum (Hall)
Bordenia knappi Hall
Tabulophyllum zaphrentiforme (Davis)
Cystiphylloides infundibuliformis (Greene)
Cystiphylloides tenuiradium (Hall)
Cystiphylloides tenuiradium (Hall)
Cystiphylloides sp.
Cystiphylloides sp.
Cystiphylloides sp.
Cystiphylloides sp.
Cystiphylloides nanum (Hall)
Cystiphylloides sp.
Heliophyllum verticale Hall
Heliophyllum verticale Hall
Heliophyllum verticale Hall
Enallophrentis concava (Hall)
Enallophrentis concava (Hall)

CRINOIDS
Crinoid column steinkern
Megistocrinus sp.
crinoid holdfast
Crinoid holdfast on crinoid holdfast
Lecanocrinus pusillus
Eucalyptocrinites sp.

Tylostoma Gastropod Fossil

This fossil is a gastropod called Tylostoma sp. The fossil was found in Tarrant County, Texas and is from the Cretaceous Period.

Thanks to Herb for the fossil.



Friday, October 30, 2009

Scolecodont Worm Fossil

I have been trying to imagine what the creature looked like that this fossilized jaw belonged to. It is some sort of scolecodont (maybe an Oenonites) and was found east of Louisville, Kentucky at an Ordovician Period road cut.

While I have referred to it as a worm it might be more like a modern lamprey or some sort of eel. If it were a worm, you could take it fishing but not need a hook. The jaws on this animal are quite menacing. So just put the scolecodont on the fishing line and let it grab the fish as they swim by. Okay, I am joking about this.

The picture is not magnified and the fossil is about 5 mm long which appears to be quite large for one of these fossils.


Here is my rough drawing of what a creature would look like. It is totally off base but having not seen any of the fossils of the soft scolecodont bodies I have just my imagination as a reference. My interpretation is the creature was some sort of parasite that latched onto its prey with the grappling jaws and then sucked nutrients from its host.

UPDATED: Thanks to Howard for pointing out that my original title was redundant. Scolecodont has a Latin meaning of "worm jaw". I have adjusted the title. :)

Here is a new drawing of a worm that is based on the Nereis virens clam worm. I changed its color around and went with more earth tones. Of course, that worm reminds me of a centipede. Apparently, the clam worm eats other worms and algae.


Texas Ammonite Fossil

Here are pictures of two Texas ammonite fossils. This fossil is from the Cretaceous Period that was found in Tarrant County, Texas.

Thanks to Herb for the fossil.




Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hemiaster Sea Urchin Fossil

This fossil is a Echinoderm (sea urchin) called Hemiaster sp. It existed in the Cretaceous Period about 100,000,000 years ago. The fossil was found in Tarrant County, Texas.

Thanks to Herb for the fossil. Apparently they are just found in this condition with no air abrasive cleaning needed.




Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pycnodonte Oyster Fossil

This fossil is an extinct oyster from the family Gryphaeidae. It is called Pycnodonte newberyii from the Cretaceous Period and the Turonian Age. The fossil was found in Utah probably near the Tununk layer of the Mancos Shale near Dakota Sandstone. Might also be known as the "Devil's Toenail."



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Brazosport Museum of Natural Science

While doing some research on Texas fossils, I came across an interesting website for Brazosport Museum of Natural Science in Clute, Texas. I believe this is just south of Houston. They boast of having "the largest collection of shells on display in the South with shells from around the world."

If I am ever near Houston, Texas, I hope to pay a visit to this museum. It looks like a great place to visit and take pictures.

One of the main items that attracted me to the website though was a section called "Meanderings of a Texas Fossil Hunter" by Dan Woehr. This is an impressive set of reports going from the present to 2003. Mr. Woehr has created a lot of documentation on his fossil collecting adventures with descriptions and pictures in the PDF reports. He has a number of reports about collecting fossils in the Cincinnati area that I can relate to. Most of his reports are about collecting in Texas which from what I read so far has quite a few ammonite, crab, sea urchin, and shark teeth fossils.


Visit the Brazosport Museum of Natural Science on the Internet at http://bcfas.org/museum

Caritodens Clam Fossils

The following pictures show Ordovician period clams called Caritodens demissa. These clams were found in eastern Jefferson County, Kentucky (just outside of Louisville, Kentucky). They are probably from the Grant Lake Formation.

The growth lines remind me of a contour map.






Monday, October 26, 2009

A Pseudofossil Called Stylolite

I have been reading a well written book from Germany called Fossil Collector's Handbook: Finding, Identifying, Preparing, Displaying by Gerhard Lichter. Published in English in 1993 by Sterling Publishing Company. The German title is Fossilien bergen, präparieren, ausstellen: Geräte und Techniken published in 1986.

On page 11, there is a picture of a pseudofossil called Stylolite. The author describes it as "the woodlike limestone formation is most likely a diagenetic sediment deposit that developed during rock formation or a water-worn rock."

I remember finding my first piece of rock like the one pictured in the book and thinking I had found some sort of petrified wood. Later, someone told me it was just a pseudofossil. DARN! I still pick up pieces today maybe because like the structure of its parallel lines. Or maybe the hope it is some sort of petrified wood.

The following are pictures of two specimens that I found east of Louisville, Kentucky. They were found at an Ordovician Period road cut.



Sunday, October 25, 2009

Use the Word "Never" Carefully

The Encyclopedia of Louisville Edited by John E. Kleber and published by The University of Kentucky in 2001 is a great resource for information about Louisville, Kentucky. This encyclopedia included 1,799 entries created by over 500 writers.

It has a number of nice entries that relate to geology and paleontology: Falls of the Ohio, Falls of the Ohio State Park, Fossils, Fossils at the Falls of the Ohio, Geology, Fauna, Jeptha Knob, Mineral Resources, Knobs, and Quarries. The previous subjects are a few I found in the book but I did not try to find every one.

The entry that is the attention of this post is the one entitled Fossils. This entry takes up more than two pages of the encyclopedia as it covers fossils found through out the different time periods exposed in the Louisville, Kentucky area. The paragraph on blastoids I found of particular interest. On page 314, it is stated: "Blastoids were similar to crinoids, with a more robust nut-shaped body. The delicate tentacles and stalk are never preserved."

Yikes! One cannot find a blastoid that still with its stalk (stem) or tentacles (brachioles)? While I have never found a blastoid with an attached stem though I have only been to 3 sites that have blastoids. It would seem to me the use of the word "never" should be applied with caution.

When I visited the Cincinnati Museum Collection Center, I opened one drawer and saw this specimen. It is a large plate with an intact Pentremites blastoid. The picture quality is poor but the lighting and no tripod made for less than ideal photography. The segments of the blastoid are labeled. I was amazed to see such a fossil and it was one of my favorites of those viewed that day.

Closer view of the top of the blastoid Pentremites.


As you can see the stalk and tentacles of this blastoid have been preserved. So the lesson, be very careful when using the word "never" because it can come back later and bite you!


Brachiopod Atrypa reticularis

This brachiopod is from Benton County, Tennessee. It existed in the Lower Devonian Period and was found in the Birdsong Formation. The brachiopod was called Atrypa reticularis.

Thanks to Herb for providing the specimen.





As a comparison, here is an Atrypa reticularis from the Middle Devonian Period found in Saharan Africa. The specimen is from the natural history museum in Paris, France.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Falls of the Ohio State Park Upgrade


On October 23, 2009 the Indiana State Budget Committee approved half a million dollars to update the exhibits as the Falls of the Ohio State Park Interpretive Center. The money will be matched by the Brown Foundation bring the park closer to raising the 3.9 million dollars to pay for the project.

The upgrades will probably include an updated film, new entry way, refreshed lobby exhibits, and interactive displays for the history and paleontological resources the park represents. The plans are now being worked on by Solid Light, Inc. of Louisville, Kentucky. The current design for the Interpretive Center was finished back in 1994. This new project hopes to be completed by March 2012.

Material for this post was gleaned from a Courier Journal article entitled "Indiana Approves $500,000 for Falls of the Ohio Exhibits" by Lesley Stedman Weidenbener published October 23, 2009.

One quote from state representative Steve Stemler of Jeffersonville I especially liked from the article, "The fossil bed is one of our community's great scientific resources,".

Bryozoan Hallopora perelegans

This bryozoan is from Benton County, Tennessee. It existed in the Lower Devonian Period and was found in the Birdsong Formation. The bryozoan was called Hallopora perelegans.

Thanks to Herb for providing the specimen.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Permian Period Brachiopods

The following pictures are of brachiopods from the Permian Period. The specimens are on display at the natural history museum in Paris, France.

This first brachiopod is a Neospirifer ravana from Greenland.


This next set of brachiopod fossils are called "Terebratula" sufflata and I believe they were found in Germany.


This brachiopod is called Neospirifer alatus and I believe it was found in Germany.


These brachiopod fossils are called Neochonetes granulifer and were found in America.


These brachiopod fossils are called "Athyris" pectinifera and were found in Russia.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ptylodictya tennis on Atrypa Brachiopod

This Atrypa sp. brachiopod is from Benton County, Tennessee. It existed in the Lower Devonian Period and was found in the Birdsong Formation. The inarticulate brachiopod was called Ptylodictya tennis (circled in black).

Thanks to Herb for providing the specimen.




This is a view of the other side of the Atrypa sp. brachiopod. It looks like part of the shell surface was coated with a bryozoan.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Leptaena acuticuspidata

This brachiopod is from Benton County, Tennessee. It existed in the Lower Devonian Period and was found in the Birdsong Formation. The brachiopod was called Leptaena acuticuspidata. Thanks to Herb for providing the specimen.



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Devonian Eridophyllum Coral

These pictures are of two Eridophyllum apertum? Middle Devonian Period corals. They were found in Louisville, Kentucky in the Jeffersonville Limestone. This species was at one time known by the name Diphyphyllum apertum defined by Hall (1882).