Sunday, January 3, 2010

Platycrinites saffordi Crinoid

This fossil is one of the famous Crawfordsville, Indiana crinoids called Platycrinites saffordi.  The fossil is located in a slab on display at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis, Indiana. This creature existed in the Borden Group's gray siltstone that is part of the Edwardsville Formation.  Early to Middle Mississippian Period is the time period this fossil is from. View another Platycrinites crinoid on the Indiana State Museum website.

A natural science history professor at Wabash College named Edmund O. Hovey first documented these fossils in 1836.  Dr. James Hall of New York was given some of the specimens that were found.  In the 1870s through early 1900s, collectors quarried these crinoids and sent them to museums in Paris, Berlin, and London.  At one point it was thought that colonies of the crinoids existed in the area of Crawsfordsville but it is now believed the remains washed into the area from elsewhere.  Source material gathered from the book Roadside Geology of Indiana by Mark J. Camp and Graham T. Richardson (page 178).

Large slab of crinoids from Crawsfordville on display at Indiana State Museum.  The number of hours to prepare that slab must be huge!  Such a great diversity of species to be seen in one grouping.