Sunday, February 3, 2019

2000th Posting + The Hidden Lophophore Fossil

I have made it to my 2000th posting and I thought I would write about something special. In the past, I have marked other milestone postings with reviews of favorite fossils or most visited pages. You can find links to those at the end of this post, if you are curious.

This post is about maybe a unique discovery that has not been documented yet. Recently, I was testing x-ray sensors and while one can x-ray keys, pens, paper clips or calibration targets while testing, I got a bit more creative. I started to x-ray small fossils in my test image batch. Almost all of the time they were solid with a consistent layer but every so often I would see some other hidden details.

While taking an x-ray of a Devonian brachiopod Productella spinulicosta (Hall, 1867, aka Spinulicosta spinulicosta), I discovered it had a tube like structure embedded in its fossil form. It appears to be some sort of lophophore (feeding tube). My research has not found other images of lophophores from this genus of brachiopod so maybe this is the first time it has been visually documented. In x-ray images the green arrow points to the lophophore, light blue arrows point to spines.

As for this blog, I thought I would eventually run out of material to post but I continue to visit museums and on rare occasions field collect. Also my cousin Kenny has a nicer microscope/camera system that is yielding amazing images of microfossils he has been collecting. So I seem to have a good source of material to write about in the near future. Thanks for reading.

Previous milestone postings: