Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mississippian Period Foraminifera

This fossil is a foraminifera from the Salem Limestone of Indiana.  It was found in Washington County, Indiana.  The little creature existed in the Mississippian Period.  I believe this is my first microfossil posted since I tend not to look for these animals.  After finding a binocular microscope to use, I searched through some cleaned sand that my friend Herb gave me.  With a vague idea of looking for a multi-segmented bubbly looking rolled up worm shape, I found about nine fossils in about 45 minutes.

Reading about this limestone layer ahead of time gave me the impression that it had a lot of micro fossils.  It lived up to its billing with fragments of bryozoans, small snail shells, spine looking shapes, and crinoid discs were among the fossils I visually encountered.  According to my research, the fossils pictured might be an Endothryra baileyi or Globoendothyra baileyi.

The pictures were taken through the microscope viewing lens using a 4 megapixel Kodak camera set to macro mode.  Forgive the picture quality.  I believe the microscope magnification was set between 20x-30x.

The last three pictures were taken at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis.  They are specifically from the Mississippian Period display which is describing fossils in the Salem Limestone.


A model of one of these micro-sized fossils.

Learn more about these tiny creatures at the German website run by Michael Hesemann.  If you can, help him out by sending fossil samples for him to photograph and document.