Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Coral Mixture

This rock fragment has been sitting out on the wash screen for a while. The spring rains have cleaned it off to reveal a number of corals. I thought this piece was maybe a fragment (6 cm by 5 cm) of a Silurian Alveolites coral.

One side of it has a colony of small Coenites reticulata branching corals. The small colony is about 5 cm by 3 cm in size. It is interesting in that the branches on the left of this picture are eroded out showing the whole fossil out of matrix.

This next picture shows a closer view of that branch.

Here is a side view of the layers of Alveolites.

On the other side of the coral fossil is another colony. It appears to be a Devonian Aulocystis coral. It is small and measures 2 cm in length and about 1 cm in width. It is like a series of little horns connected end to end.

This is a side view of the Aulocystis coral.

Here the Aulocystis colony can be seen from a distance. Above it is remanents of another coral maybe a larger Aulocystis. They are all growing on maybe the remains of an Alveolites coral.

This looks like some biodiversity going on in this specimen but I must have some identifications wrong since two different time period fossils could not be this close together. It does appear that there are at least 3 different coral fossils represented. I am guessing they will all turn out to be Silurian after some research.