Sunday, February 20, 2011

Aulopora from the Silica Shale

Another common Epibont found on shells from the Silica Shale, and Devonian in general, is Aulopora. The 1975 book by Robert V. Kesling & Ruth B. Chilman: Strata and Megafossils of the Middle Devonian Silica Formation: Museum of Paleontology, Papers on Paleontology, No. 8, pg. 56, lists only one species that can be found within the Silica Shale: Aulopora microbuccinata. Aulopora is a species of coral and bears a similar growth pattern and overall look to the Bryozoan Hederella. The easiest way to tell them apart is that Aulopora is much larger.

Here is some growing on a Paraspirifer

Another colony on a Mucrospirifer

Another colony on a shell fragment

The corallites of Aulopora are thin walled and sometimes they are easily broken open by the erosion process.

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