Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pennsylvania's Cornwall Mine Magnetite

The Cornwall Mine of Lebanon County Pennslyvania, USA was one of the largest iron ore producers in the eastern United States. Opened in 1732 and operated until the early 1970s the mine is estimated to have produced over 100 million tons or ore. In addition, over 60,000 ounces of gold and 400,000 ounces of silver were processed. In June 1972, Hurricane Agnes knocked out the power at the mine thus rendering the pumps unusable. The rains the storm brought flooded the mine shafts and Bethelem Steel decided to close the mines after that.

Micro-mineral specimen of magnetite from the mine. Collected by Milt Leet who was a mining engineer there till mine closed. The book Mineral Collecting in Pennsylvania by Davis M. Lapham and Alan R. Geyer (Pennsylvania Geological Survey 3rd Ed. 1969) describes magnetite found at the mine as "octahedrons, dodecahedrons, plates, massive in ore and along top surface of diabase in small crystals". (page 108) lists 69 different types of minerals found at this mining locality.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Eurypterus lacustris Fossil

An Eurypterus lacustris fossil displayed at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (Washington DC). The fossil was found in New York, USA. Fossil dates to the Late Silurian Period.

Thanks to my cousin for the photo.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Syringopora hisingeri Coral Fossil

Syringopora hisingeri coral fossil from the Devonian Period Jeffersonville Limestone. The fossil was found in Jefferson County (Louisville), Kentucky, USA. The fossils sort of remind me in appearance of on angel hair pasta. Very fine tube like structures clustered together in a colony makes this fossil stand out. Named by Billings in 1858. It can also be noted that corals like this are also found in the Onondaga Limestone of Ontario Canada and Michigan USA. The holotype for this species can be found at the National Museum of Canada.
Thanks to Kenny for letting me photograph the specimen.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Favosites Coral Fossil

Genus Favosites fossil coral found in the Jeffersonville Limestone of Jefferson County, Kentucky USA. These little animals lived in the Devonian Period and helped create the thick layers of limestone foundation the city is built on. The limestone also helps provide very tasty drinking water to the local population! :)

Thanks to Kenny for letting me photograph this specimen.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hexagonaria prisma Coral

Hexagonaria prisma coral fossil found in the Jeffersonville Limestone of Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA. Animals existed in the Devonian Period. Next pictures shows how the genus got its name with the hexagon shapes contains the remains of the coral septa.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Drymopora fascicularis Coral Fossil

Devonian Period fossil corals can be found in the Louisville, Kentucky, USA area. This area appears to have 100s of varieties of corals. Today, the one highlighted on the blog is called Drymopora fascicularis. It is found in the Jeffersonville Limestone of Clark County, Indiana and Jefferson County, Kentucky. Fossil was named by Davis in 1887.

Thanks to Kenny for letting me photograph it.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Syringopora perelegans Coral Fossil

Louisville Kentucky, USA is known for is wide array of Paleozoic coral fossils. The city is built upon thick limestone layers of ancient coral reefs that are exposed either naturally or during construction projects. This coral fossil appears to be a Syringopora perelegans named by Billings in 1858. It was found in the Middle Devonian aged limestone of Jefferson County, Kentucky.

Thanks to Kenny for letting me photograph this fossil.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Life on a Brachiopod

This specimen is an interesting example of biodiversity layer upon layer. The top layer consists for at least 5 crinoid holdfast probably belonging to the Eucalyptocrinus. See following magnified images for more detail. These holdfasts attached to an encrusting bryozoan that could be either Lichenalia or Sagenella. The bryozoan is covering an Eospirifer brachiopod.

Creatures lived in the Middle Silurian Period (425-419 million years ago). Fossil found in the Waldron Shale of Clark County, Indiana, USA.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Let Me Play Among the Constellaria...

Today's fossil is an easy to identify Ordovician bryozoan fossil that looks like a star. It is called the Constellaria sp. This fossil was found in the Lexington Limestone of Franklin County, Kentucky, USA.

The next image is of a magnified star shape. It is nice in you can see the individual pores (zooecia). The Cincinnati Fossils book edited by R.A. Davis (Cincinnati Museum Center,1998) lists two species of this bryozoan that are found: Constellaria florida and C. polystomella.

My blog title refers to the Frank Sinatra song Fly Me to the Moon "and let me play among the stars". 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Red Hill Fossil

A while back my friend Herb gave me a piece of matrix from Red Hill roadcut in Clinton County, Pennsylvania, USA. After leaving the sample outside for weeks it began to break apart. In one of the pieces, I found this impression. It looks to me to be some sort of brachiopod with radial lines (costae or plicae) and a light blue layer with maybe muscle scars on it. If it is a brachiopod it is very compressed.

Looking for more information about Red Hill locality (Duncannon Member, Catskill Formation), I consulted the Devonian Times web site. It lists the site as a Late Devonian area (Famennian Stage, 361 million years old). The area was an area that flooded due to a near by river. If this was a river, I am not sure about this fossil since I thought brachiopods were marine creatures.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Bumastus Trilobite Cephalon

 Here is a nice fossil that was embedded in quite a bit of hard Waldron Shale. My cousin using an air scribe coaxed it out into the public view after about two hours of work. The trilobite cephalon is a species of the genus Bumastus.  The limestone layer it was found in dates to the Silurian period or about 420 million years ago.