Monday, April 2, 2012

Heliolites from Gotland, Sweden

I have been fortunate to be able to trade with a friend, named Christian, who visits the island of Gotland in Sweden to hunt for fossils. Below is a large colony of Heliolites that he sent me.  The rocks of Gotland are Silurian (Wenlock to Ludlow Epoch) in age but I don't know the particular location or formation that this came from.

Heliolites is a sort of encrusting tabulate coral rather than a massive, continually growing colony like Favosites. You can see how there are many generations that overlap on top of one another.

This is an underside view that show the wrinkled epitheca where the coral was laying on a semi-solid muddy substrate.

Anotehr view of some of the many layers that compose this coral mound. I wonder if it was periodically smothered or partially buried and that only a portion survived to then recolonize the dead areas.

Thank you to my friend Christian for sending me this fossil.

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