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 (Bassler, 1941) 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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