Thursday, February 20, 2020

Platyceras dumosum Snail Fossil

This fossil appears to be a Platyceras dumosum snail but without any spines. It was found in 2002 in a quarry in Clark County, Indiana USA. The layer it was found is called the Jeffersonville Limestone which dates to the Middle Devonian Period. It was part of the James Conkin collection.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Echinocorys Echinoderm Fossil

This image is of a sea urchin fossil called Echinocorys.  The shell once consisted of calcite but has since been replaced by crystalline silica. This animal lived in the Cretaceous Period. The fossil was found at Sidmouth, Devon, England.

This specimen was on display August 2016 in Natural History Museum of London, England.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Opal Gastropod Fossils

Pictured are some nice fossils found in New South Wales, Australia (Lightning Ridge?). These snails date to the Cretaceous Period.

Fossils were on display August 2016 in Natural History Museum of London, England.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Myelodactylus convulotus Crinoid from Waldron Shale

Staying with the same fossil as yesterday's posting, this one is from an older part of the Silurian Period. It was found in the Waldron Shale of Clark County, Indiana USA. The fossil is an enrolled Myelodactylus convulotus crinoid stem. My cousin Kenny found it in 2012.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Myelodactylus convolutus Crinoid from Louisville Limestone

Recently, I have tried to put more effort in labeling a lot of collected fossils in my collection with names. At times difficult, due to poor note keeping by me when I picked them up or received them from someone else. So I sometimes rely on the previous posts to help figure out what was found and when. While looking back, I found that I had a number of unidentified fossil entries that I did not visit again to give a name. One was from May 10, 2010 which turns out to be a Myelodactylus convolutus? crinoid.

My cousin Kenny helped with the full name and sent me a picture of one from his collection seen above. This one is younger in that it was found in the Louisville Limestone and not the Waldron Shale. The fossil was found in the Jefferson County Kentucky USA and dates to the Middle Silurian Period. Also look at the blog post in 2014 showing one fully extended and attached with holdfast to a large coral.

This crinoid was unique in that the remains shown are believed to be its stem and not just an arm. In that inner coil would be a calyx with arms. Unless it was quite small on this species I do not see where the calyx is thus must have snapped off.

Refer to this article Myelodactylid crinoids from the Silurian of the British Isles by Stephen K Donovan and George D Sevastopulo from 1989 Palaeontology Volume 32 pages 689-710 at Plate 81 shows clear examples of what the calyx looked like though it might be somewhat different in the species of this fossil

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Fossil Sponge in Ice

Here is a very fresh find from the Waldron Shale. This morning it was below freezing in the Louisville area. This fossil appears to be a Receptaculites subturbinatus. It was found in Clark County Indiana USA and dates to the Silurian Period. I might have some better pictures later once it thaws out.

Thanks to Kenny for the image.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Modern Brachiopod

This specimen came from the Dr. James Conkin collection. It had no label and I suppose was used for teaching purposes to show what a non-extinct species of brachiopod looked like. It definitely looks like a lamp shell. At first I thought it might be easy to figure out its name but now I am not sure. It might be a species of Laqueus. I know some are found off the coast of California. My next idea was to look at images I took at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. They had a picture of a lamp shell called Liothyrella notoreadensis that look similar to this one. They had several containers on display with no names so these creatures are a lot more diverse than I realized.

So I am not sure where it is from or its exact name.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Onychocrinus pulaskiensis Crinoid Calyx Reconstructed

This fossil appears to be an Onychocrinus pulaskiensis crinoid calyx. It was meticulously reconstructed by my cousin Kenny. He found it in the Glen Dean Member of Grayson County, Kentucky, USA. The fossil dates to the Mississippian Period.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Deltablastus permicus Blastoid Fossil

This fossil appears to be a Deltablastus permicus blastoid found in the Sonnebait Formation(?) of Timor. The fossil dates to the Permian Period. It was part of the James Conkin collection.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Cliothyridina sublamellosa Brachiopod with Hederella Bryozoan Fossil

This image shows what appears to be a Hederella bryozoan and spirobis (palaeoconchus?) that grew on a Cliothyridina sublamellosa brachiopod fossil. Fossils were found in the Glen Dean layer at Grayson County, Kentucky, USA. These creatures existed in the Mississippian Period.

Thanks to Kenny for image.

Corrections: Earlier post listed the brachiopod as a Reticularia setigera and the spelling for spirobis has been adjusted.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Hederella Bryozoan on Zaphrentoides Coral

Here is a nice find showing 3 different fossils. What appears to be a Hederella and unknown bryozoan that grew on a Zaphrentoides coral fossil. Fossils were found in the Glen Dean layer at Grayson County, Kentucky, USA. These creatures existed in the Mississippian Period.

Thanks to Kenny for image.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Cast of Large Ambonychia Clam Fossil with Bryozoan

This fossil mold appears to be an Ambonychia clam with both valves and is big enough to almost cover the palm of a hand. The clam fossil may have several colonies of cyclostome bryozoan (though only their holdfasts remain). I don't see where the zooids would bud out of their protective structures.The branching pattern seen in the pictures can be found on quite a few clam molds at the site this fossil was collected.
On both sides there are remnants of another bryzoan in what seems to be Prasapora simulatrix.

It looks like the shell eroded away and the bryozoan set up shop on the mold but on both sides. Not sure how this was accomplished at the same time which leads me to believe they grew on one side till the fossil was turned over and then new colonies grew on this water exposed side. Just a theory...

This fossil was found in Bullitt County, Kentucky, USA. It might be from the Grant Lake Formation. The fossil dates to the Ordovician Period.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Platyceras dumosum Spiny Snail

This fossil appears to be a Platyceras dumosum spiny snail. It was found in 2002 in a quarry in Clark County, Indiana USA. The layer it was found is called the Jeffersonville Limestone which dates to the Middle Devonian Period. It was part of the James Conkin collection.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Spinocyrtia (Platyrachella) oweni Brachiopod Fossil

This brachiopod fossil was found in the Silver Creek Member of the North Vernon Limestone of Clark County, Indiana, USA. It appears to be a Spinocyrtia (Platyrachella) oweni. It existed in the Middle Devonian Period.

Fossil was cleaned with ultrasonic cleaner.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Archimedes Bryozoan Fossil with Holdfast

Here is a rare example of an Archimedes sp. bryozoan fossil with part of holdfast (root like structures) exposed. It was used to anchor it to the seabed. Another rare feature is the part of the netting or mesh structure that extended out into the water along the edge of the creature's screw shape. The name for water pump screw credited to the Greek engineer Achimedes of Syracuse (287-212 BC).

The naming of this genus is credited to Indiana's first state geologist David Dale Owen (1807-1860) to his publication, A Geological Reconnoisance and Survey of the State of Indiana in 1837 and 1838 in 1838. He later wrote an article for The American Journal of Science and Arts, Volumes 43-44 (1842) entitled Regarding Human Foot-Prints in Solid Limestone. He writes "characterized by a very remarkable fossil coralline, resembling the Retepora of Lin., but verticillated spirally like a continuous screw; described by Lesueur under the appropriate name of Archimedes.*" He writes that on page 19 with a foot note listing, "I am not sure that Lesueur ever published his description of this fossil; but I know that while he resided here (at New Harmony) he engraved a plate containing several views of it, with that intention. He considered it, I believe, a new genus; but it may be only a new species of Retepora; if so, most aptly entitled Retepora Archimedes."

Owen is referring to the French naturalist Charles Alexandre Lesueur (1778-1846). He lived at New Harmony Indiana from 1826-1837. He was good friends with Thomas Say who named the Pentremites blastoid fossil genus and is buried at New Harmony.

The fossil pictured above was part of the James Conkin collection. This bryozoan existed in the Mississippian Period, the genus died out in the Permian Period. No locality was listed with this fossil but I am guessing it was found in Indiana or Kentucky. Thanks to Kenny for the picture.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Ultrasonic Cleaning of Fossils

Late last year I bought an ultrasonic cleaner from a seller on One of the uses for it was to clean fossils. After trying it out on coins and jewelry, I did not much difference in the before and after and shelved it. I think some of my issues though were in my process and the items I was trying to clean.

So this weekend I tried another coin and it seemed to clean it up quite a bit. The change (so to speak) I made in the process was using distilled water and heating it before hand in the microwave till it was coffee hot. I then added about 4-8 drops of Dawn dish cleaner to the water. Set the cycle to 480 seconds. Once complete, removed the basket and rinsed the specimen in tap water. Then brushed it with soft bristle tooth brush. Put the specimen back in the cleaner for another 480 seconds. Repeated this process until it seemed cleaner than before I started.

Above you can see the Devonian Period fossils I started with. A couple branching corals, button coral, and some crinoid holdfast stems.One can then observe what they looked like after I finished. The water was quite muddy looking at the end of the process. While not perfect, it was definitely an improvement.

Below is a link to the cleaner I was using. If you are interested make sure you read a sampling of the comments as they are a mix of works great to does not work at all. I experienced both cases of this and I think it depends on what you are trying to clean and the process you pick for the workflow of cleaning. I have since cleaned a number of brachiopod and blastoid fossils with good success.

Magnasonic Professional Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner with Digital Timer for Eyeglasses, Rings, Coins (MGUC500)

I am also experimenting with small Bissell steam cleaner though I need a way to hold the fossil in place while cleaning with this. Inspiration for this came after watch the BBC show The Repair Shop on Netflix. They use a wand like steam cleaner on ceramic items with amazing results. This type of device is especially good at getting dirty out of crevices and cracks. If I get good results using it on fossils I will make a posting about it.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Neuropteris Plant Fossil from Kentucky

This fossil appears to be a Neuropteris plant fossil. It was found in Perry County Kentucky, USA. The fossil dates to the Pennsylvanian Period. Scale is in centimeters.

Thanks to Kenny for the image.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Unidentified Carboniferous Period Plant Fossil

Picture shown is of an unidentified plant fossil. It was found in Perry County Kentucky, USA. The fossil dates to the Pennsylvanian Period. Scale shown is cm increments.

Thanks to Kenny for the image.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Bowmanites-a-sphenopsid Fossil

This fossil appears to be a Bowmanites-a-sphenopsid plant fossil. It was found in Perry County Kentucky, USA. The fossil dates to the Pennsylvanian Period.

Thanks to Kenny for the image.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Asterophyllites Plant Fossil

This fossil appears to be an Asterophyllites sp. plant fossil. It was found in Hazard County Kentucky, USA. The fossil dates to the Pennsylvanian Period.

Thanks to Kenny for the image.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Really Nice Spiny Snail Fossil

The other day I was sent a picture of a spiny fossil. It is a Platyceras dumosum gastropod fossil. The fossil was found in Devonian Period's Jeffersonville Limestone.

Thanks to Rusty for sending me this picture.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Inspired Fossil Hunt for the New Year

On the first day of the year 2020, I decided to go look for fossils in a nearby outcrop of Ordovician Period rock. My inspiration for this trip came after reading the year end post at the blog Fossils and Other Living Things. Such a well researched post about Flexicalymene meeki named by August Frederic Foreste (1862-1936) who he named the species after Fielding Bradford Meek (1817-1876).

I encourage you to visit the website and read this lengthy entry. It was fascinated to learn about the person who the trilobite is named after and somewhat sad that his only family was a cat and he lived in a tiny room under some stairs at the Smithsonian from 1858 till he died in 1876. In addition, it was interesting to learn more about Foreste who I assume the Ordovician coral genus Foerstephyllum is named after. I find a lot of this coral on the eastern side of Louisville.

After reading the blog post, I decided to try and find a piece of one of these trilobites. It was a pleasant collecting trip as I like to look for fossils in the winter months free of snakes, insects and poison ivy.

The weather in the Louisville area was sunny on January 1st with a high of 50°F (10°C). I photographed the fossil shown above in Bullitt County, Kentucky USA. It appears to be a pygidium of Flexicalymene meeki? trilobite. The fossil was about a 1 cm wide which I left where I found it. The place I visited mostly has Platystropia brachiopod fossils though I found number pelocypod molds, segments of straight cepholopod fossils, a few whirled gastropods and broken bryozoans. Trilobites are very rare to find at this locality though I did find my first mostly intact trilobite there on my initial visit just over 10 years ago. I also found the largest scolecodont fossil to date at the same locale.

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