Saturday, December 14, 2019

A Bryozoan Fossil That Looks Like a Starfish

The Evactinopora quinqueradiata (Ulrich, 1890) bryozoan fossil is quite unique in that its cross section looks more like starfish than a bryozoan. This one is part of a very unique fireplace in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. It is made up a lot of fossils from a variety of places. Unfortunately, the creators of the fireplace have passed away making it difficult with identifications and where the specimens are from. The fossil was once part of the Lucien Pearson Beckner (1872-1963) collection. Colonel Beckner was director of the Natural History Museum at the Louisville Free Public Library.

The species was named by Edward Oscar Ulrich (1857-1944) in 1890 in the Illinois Geological Survey report.

Evactinopora grandis (Meeks & Worthen, 1868) bryozoan fossils like this are found in the Burlington Formation of Illinois and Missouri. This specimen is a five ray creature and at least 10 cm in diameter. It dates to the Mississippian Period (Osagean Series).

Learn more about these types of creatures at this website:

Thanks to Kenny for identifying this fossil.

 UPDATE (12-4-2022): This appears to be an Evactinopora quinqueradiata (Ulrich, 1890) and not the E. grandis (Meeks & Worthen, 1868). Learn more at