Monday, May 4, 2020

Aulocystis dichotoma coral from the Moscow formation

This small, "Y" shaped coral is called Aulocystis dichotoma and lived in the Windom shale member of the Moscow formation. I found it at the Deep Springs Road quarry. It's another surprising find in a muddy/silty shale that a coral like this can be found. A. dichotoma lived on top of the substrate unlike other cousins in it's family that secured themselves to hard shells. Every now and again the coral would bud off growth in two different directions. The "Y" shape is very typical for the species and it is easily recognized by this bifurcating growth pattern. The species name comes from the Greek word "dikhotomia" which roughly means "two parts".

This specimen was found at a borrow pit on Deep Springs Road in Madison County, NY which exposes the Windom shale member of the Moscow formation (middle Devonian in age, Givetian stage.)

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