Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Here are some Middle Devonian Period Goniatites found in the Mahantango Formation in the state of Pennsylvania.

Thanks to Dave for the images.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fossils in the Snow

Some snow has finally accumulated in the Louisville, Kentucky area. It was maybe 1 cm or so and contributed to about 100 auto accidents. I am guessing the melted snow on the road froze and helped with all the accidents.

I decided to document the occasion of snow by photographing some of the fossils outside on the cleaning racks.  Devonian Period corals found in Clark County, Indiana.  On a side note, the Indiana State Museum has taken quite a few pictures of their fossil collection and posted it on their website.  Here is a sampling of horn corals pictures.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Unidentified Horn Coral

This horn coral was found in Clark County, Indiana. It is of the Devonian Period and I am still try to figure out its identification.

UPDATE (2021): This could be a Bordenia knappi (Hall, 1882). Found in the Speed Limestone of Clark County, Indiana USA.



Sunday, December 27, 2009

Indiana Horn Coral - Heliophyllum

Searching through horn corals I have collected in 2009 I hope to find a Bordenia knappi (Hall, 1882).  Instead I continue to identify Heliophyllum sp. (Hall) horn coral fossils. Here are some images of 4 more that seemed picture worthy.

These horn coral fossils were found Jeffersonville or Beechwood Limestone of Clark County, Indiana. They existed in the Devonian Period.

Here is a budding horn coral emerging from a parent horn coral.



Friday, December 25, 2009

A Paleozoic Christmas Greeting

Merry Christmas to all and may Santa bring you lots of nice fossils!

For the curious this image is a composite of four different fossils.  The main tree body is an unidentified Devonian Period horn coral from the Jeffersonville Limestone of Clark County, Indina.  The tree trunk is a unidentified crinoid stem from Lake Cumberland, Kentucky (Mississippian Period, Fort Payne Formation).  The ornaments are Pentremites blastoids from Crawford County, Indiana (Haney Formation(?) and Mississippian Period).  The star is a crinoid stem cross section from the same area the blastoids were found at.  Artistic license was exercised with the fossil colors and illumination.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Blastoid Fossils

The Pentremites blastoid named by Thomas Say in 1825 (maybe in the Journal of Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, volume 4, p.294). These fossils were found in Crawford County, Indiana (maybe Indiana Springs Formation). The creatures existed in the Mississippian Period.

Dr. Gerard Troost makes note of genus in his unpublished manuscript on crinoids from 1850, "The Genus Pentremites established by our countryman Thomas Say and on which I wrote a memoir (Trans. of the geol. Soc. of Penn. vol. I pag. 224.) is so well known that it requires merely a short notice of how the several species differ from one another; and as to my knowledge, no good figures have been published of the American Pentremites,"  He also talks about Thomas Say's observations in "On The Pentremites Reinwardtii, A New Fossil: With Remarks On The Genus Pentremites (Say) And Its Geognostic Position In The United States Of Tennessee, Alabama, And Kentucky" by Gerard Troost in Transactions of the Geological Society of Pennsylvania, Volume 1, 1835.

Gerard Troost, Thomas Say, and Charles-Alexandre Lesueur were all at New Harmony, Indiana in the 1820s & 1830s. These fossils shown in this entry were not found too far from there to east. It appears they did not document the blastoids found in Indiana since Troost does not mention the state in his paper previously quoted. From the species he attributes to Say in the second paper, those blastoids appear to be found in England, Tennessee, and along the Mississippi River.   Thomas Say is buried at New Harmony.

An interesting paper "The Type of Pentremites Say" by Robert O. Fay in
Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 35, No. 4 (Jul., 1961), pp. 868-873 talks about the holotype specimen of Pentremites godoni found in Kentucky was destroyed in fire (between 1827-1850). It was originally decribed Parkison in 1808 as "Kentucky Asterial Fossil". Professor Samuel Latham Mitchill of University of New York described it as having "a remote resemblance to a small acorn" in 1808 (Uncommon Petrifactions, from Georgia and Kentucky). It goes on using plant terminology so early thinking was it was some sort of vegetation.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Archimedes Bryozoan

A series Archimedes bryozoan fossils found in Crawford County, Indiana. These creatures existed in the Mississippian Period. When researching Dr. Gerard Troost, who briefly lived in New Harmony, Indiana (1825-1827), he referred to them as screwstones. His influence was noted by Indiana's first state geologist David Dale Owen (son of New Harmony founder Robert Owen) who recalled that Dr. Troost taught him that coal would not be found in layers of rock where screwstones were found.

Interesting, the name Archimedes for this fossil came from the writings of David Dale Owen who credited the name's origin to Charles-Alexandre Lesueur (French naturalist-artist) who was at New Harmony with Robert Owen, William Maclure, Thomas Say and Gerard Troost.

If you visit New Harmony, look at the weather vane on top of one of the original laboratory buildings. It has a blastoid and Archimedes bryozoan on it.


I read something in a scientific journal where two researchers were speculating that the Archimedes and Fenestella bryozoans might be two separate entities instead of one as shown on these next two images.  It looks to me that the bryozoan netting had attachment places on the threads of the screw shape.  So it would look like it was all part of one creature.  It is possible I read something wrong as well.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Devonian Gastropods

I am not sure about the identification of these Devonian Period gastropod fossils found in Clark County, Indiana.


These next two images could be Trochonema gastropod.




Monday, December 21, 2009

Heliophyllum Horn Coral

Heliophyllum sp. horn coral found in the Jeffersonville Limestone (Clark County, Indiana).  It is from the Devonian Period.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Devonian Period Brevispirifer gregarius

One of my favorite brachiopods to collect right now because of the wide number of swooping curves on its shell. The fossil is the Brevispirifer gregarius (Clapp, 1857) of the Devonian Period. It was found in Jefferson County, Kentucky in the Jeffersonville Limestone.


Thanks to Herb for letting me photograph these fossils.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Crenistriella Gastropod

These images were sent to me by Dave and I believe they are fossils from the Devonian Period Mahantango Formation found at Seven Springs in Pennsylvania. They are called Crenistriella and they look to be bellerophons.  You can find references to this fossil here.




Friday, December 18, 2009

Cyrtina Brachiopod

I believe this is a Devonian Period brachiopod called Cyrtina found in the Jeffersonville Limestone.  They were found in Jefferson County, Kentucky.

First for me, taking pictures of fossils in sand.  Makes me feel like I am at the beach!

Thanks to Herb for letting me take these pictures of these fossils he found.



Thursday, December 17, 2009

Echinoid spines and plates

These pictures are of pieces of the echinoid Archaeocidaris from the Mississippian Period. They were found in the St. Benevieve Formation of Hardin County.

Thanks to Pam for the fossils.

This first picture shows two echinoid plates from an inside view.

Here is an overall view of the plates and spines of the echinoid with a metric ruler.
Spines of the echinoid, Archaeocidaris found in Kentucky.
Echinoid plates that spines were attached to.