Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fenestella elgans from Lockport, NY

The website Primitive Worlds has been a great resource for me in identifying fossils that I've found within the Irondequoit limestone Rochester Shale. On their Bryozoan page they have fossils that they call Fenestella elgans. This seems to match specimens that I have found near Lockport, NY.

Here is a large specimen which is unusual since these lacy fan like Bryozoans often break apart easily before burial.

Here is a closer view where you can see the detailed surface on the back of the colony skeleton.

It amazes me that the structure is so regular. With the skeleton being made up of hundreds of tiny individual polyps how were they able to coordinate growth?

Another specimen to show you but this one actually has the individual zooecium visible.

The Irondequoit limestone Rochester Shale is Silurian in age (Wenlock series, Sheinwoodian stage). 

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