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.


Anonymous said...

Hi, Mike--the bluish color is suggestive of calcium phosphate. Have you tested a corner of it to see if it's calcite or phosphate? (phosphate won't fizz in HCl). If phosphate, it could be a fish fragment. There were all kinds of weird looking armoured fishes in the Devonian, some probably freshwater; this could be a fragment of one.

If it really is a brachiopod fragment and the rocks really are non-marine, then it could be a reworked fragment (river cutting through older marine sediments and redepositing fossil fragments in a non-marine setting).


Dave said...

Mike, That is likely a fish scale, possibly from a Hyneria or possibly an Osteolepid type fish. Check out
this post from my blog.