Thursday, August 2, 2012

Favosites conicus (?) from the Licking Creek formation

This past April I took a trip through Virginia and West Virginia exploring some sites that were listed in the book "Fossil Collecting in the Mid-Atlantic States" by Jasper Burns. One of the more productive sites was in the Licking Creek formation, which is lower Devonian in age (Lockhovian to Pragian stage), where all the fossils were replaced by quartz and could be found eroded loose out of the rock.

I only found a couple of pieces of Favosites type coral at the site, and I think they can be called Favosites conicus.

Specimen #1, this is the base or bottom of the specimen
Exterior profile, note that the rounded, mound like shape of the fossil and the flat bottom. This is typical of Favosites conicus.
Interior profile

Specimen #2, Top. This could be a different species but I don't know for sure.
Profile, this has less of an obvious mound shape but it's still rounded.
Base or bottom, Note that it appears the coral colonized a brachiopod shell with the hinge line along the top of the specimen as displayed.

A specimen of Favosites conicus from the Yale Peabody collection.

All of the above specimens came from a roadcut along US route 220 in Highland county, Virginia. The cut is listed as site #16 in the book "Fossil Collecting in the Mid-Atlantic States" by Jasper Burns. The Licking Creek formation is equivalent to the Shriver Chert member of the Old Port formation in Pennsylvania and the Birdsong formation in Tennessee which means that the fossils are part of the Helderbergian fauna.

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