Friday, November 30, 2012

Phanocrinus parvaramus Crinoid Calyx Fossil

Phanocrinus parvaramus crinoid calyx fossil found in southern Indiana. This creature lived in the Mississippian Period. Indiana, USA source of some of the best crinoid fossils in the world!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Culmicrinus elegans Crinoid Calyx Fossil

From the Age of Crinoids or the Mississippian Period, this southern Indiana fossil is thought to be a Culmicrinus elegans. If the state of Indiana had an official state fossil it would probably be some sort of Mississippian Period crinoid.

Dasciocrinus florealis Crinoid Calyx Fossil

This crinoid calyx fossil appears to be a Dasciocrinus florealis  (Yandell and Shumard, 1847) found in the Mississippian Period rock of southern Indiana. Scale is in centimeters.

See more examples of this fossil at:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Phanocrinus nitidus Crinoid Calyx

Image sent to me of a crinoid calyx fossil found in southern Indiana USA. It is from the Mississippian Period and appears to be a Phanocrinus nitidus. This crinoid might also be an Agassizocrinus sp.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Coiled Nautiloid Fossil Imprint

Over the Thanksgiving holiday I received an image of a fossil imprint of some sort of coiled nautiloid. It was found on the Indiana side of the Ohio River in the Louisville, Kentucky area. The only fossils I know of like that are found in the Louisville Limestone of Silurian Period. If it is a Silurian fossil it might be a Graftonoceras graftonense?. Other Silurian cephalopods found in the area are the Lituites marshi? shown an earlier posting and the Bickmorites shown here.

Thanks to Dana for the images.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Langite? from the Cornwall Mine

If the label is correct, this is a rare mineral (for this locality) called langite found at the Cornwall Mine in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, USA. Ironically, the type locality for langite is in Cornwall, England. The Pennsylvania mine was named back in the 1700s by a man whose family was from that area of England.Why am somewhat skeptical of this identification is I thought langite was more blue than green in color while this one looks really green compared to other langite specimen images I see on the Internet..

This specimen appears to be composed of both magnetite and langite. Learn more about mineral on

As to where the specimen came from, my friend Milt Leet was mining engineer at the mine in the 1960s till it closed in 1973. The mine was owned by Bethelham Steel and they were a major employer at Cornwall. The American economy was not great in the early 1970s and there was an oversupply of iron ore. Most of the mines ore deposits had been tapped that were economically viable and it was thought the mine would be closed by 1980. In 1973 Hurricane Agnes visited the state and brought massive rainfalls. The storm knocked out power to the pumps at the mine and as a result the shafts flooded. This event proved to be the key point to closing the mine for good.

I finished reading a book called Cornwall The People and Culture of an Industrial Camelot 1890-1980 by Carl Oblinger. The book is an eye opening set of remembrances of a time in American long past. The stories related are of an American time period when corporations were more paternalistic and the standard of living in the United States was quite low. Watching the news one can hear about how the economy is bad in the United States right now but if you read this book about how things were in the 1920s and 1930s in a this Pennsylvania mining area, we are in great shape. No running water or electricity, limited transportation, food selection limited to the growing seasons and what could be preserved during the winter are just some of the factors the population had to contend with less than 100 years ago. The book also sheds light on the blending of different nationalities as the immigrated to the country to work in the mining sector.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Museum Grade Leptaena Brachiopod Fossil

Here are some pictures of a prepped Leptaena waldronensis brachiopod that I consider museum grade. It is not compressed and its beak and hinge line are intact along with both valves. Granted some of the outer perimeter is chipped off on the bottom valve but this is a very nice specimen to find in the Waldron Shale of Clark County Indiana USA. This animal existed in the Silurian Period (about 420 million years ago, though this genus seems to appear in the Ordovician through Devonian in the Kentucky-Indiana area).

Thanks to Kenny for letting me photograph it. My images were a little too overexposed in the sunlight which is a tricky light source when using a black background. Also sorry about not getting it with a scale to show size or a side view to see its height. I plan to image it again with another Devonian specimen from Poland for comparison.

Silurian Favosites Coral Encrusted With Pyrite

Favosites coral encrusted with pyrite found in the Waldron Shale of Clark County, Indiana, USA. It is not uncommon to find coral fossils like this in the Waldron Shale but not too many have pyrite deposits on them. These creatures lived in the Silurian Period (about 420 million years ago).