Sunday, June 9, 2024

Pleurodictym wardi Fossil Coral

Last year, I wrote about the life of a southern Indiana paleontologist George K. Greene (1835-1917). That research pointed to that Greene's fossil collection was sold to American Museum of Natural History in New York City but as it turns out there was one cabinet that was not sold and was past down to his descendants. 

This picture is of two coral specimens named Pleurodictym wardi (Greene, 1903) also called a "wasp nest coral". It was found in the Beechwood Limestone of Clark County, Indiana, USA and dates to middle Devonian Period. This coral species was named by Greene in his publications as Michelinia wardi. He wrote "name is honor of Prof. Henry A. Ward, the well known collector and Paleontologist of Rochester, New York". The publications named 166 new fossils but as turned out only 15 were valid.

This fossil is now on display at the Falls of the Ohio State Park Interpretive Center till September 2024 after that it will be transferred to the Indiana State Museum. George Greene's great-great-grandson William "Bill" Bishop passed away on November 29, 2023 and his wish that fossils be donated.