Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lophrothyris subsella from France

Lophrothyris subsella from the upper Jurassic (Kimmeridgian). This fossil comes from the Charente department in France and was sent to me by my friend Gery.

Pedicle valve
Brachial valve
Left profile
Right profile

Lophrothryislooks similar to Cereithyris which I've posted before but that fossil is about 10 million years older than this one.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pleuroceras spinatum from Germany

Pleuroceras spinatum (I've also seen it referred to as spinosa) is an Ammonite species that is found in great numbers at quarries near the village of Unterstürmig and the town of Buttenheim in Germany. It's from the lower Jurassic (Pliensbachian stage) which is called the Lias in Europe. Maost often they are found with a white coating, which are possibly the remnants of the original shell, with the rest of the fossil cast in Pyrite. The specimen shown below has been cleaned of the coating.

You can see the suture lines have been preserved as well.

Fossils of this species are very easy to find at fossil shows and online and I think I got the above specimen in a lot I purchased off E-bay.

Here is a video of a trip into the quarry on YouTube.

This is not the only species found at the quarries as shown on this forum discussion page.

Mike over at Louisville Fossils posted a really nice specimen in matrix.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Gibbothyris gibbosa from France

A mystery brachiopod from France, labelled Gibbothyris gibbosa, came to me from a seller on E-bay. This specimen comes from near Angoulême in the department of Charente. It was found in sediments that are dated to the Cenomanian stage of the upper Cretaceous.

Pedicle valve
Brachial valve
Left profile
Right profile

I am a little confused with this fossil sicne I can't locate any other references to Gibbothyris gibbosa to confirm the ID. I've blogged about Gibbithyris semiglobosa previously but that has a different shape and is slightly younger than this fossil. Any suggestions are welcome.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fossil leaf from Hungary

Here is a fossil leaf from Hungary that I received from my friend Christian as part of a trade. It comes from the Miocene (Serravallian stage, Sarmatian substage) near the village of Erdőbénye in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county, Hungary.

I'm not sure what the genus is but it reminds me of an oak leaf (Quercus sp.) although this discussion on the Fossil Forum indicates that it could be Zelkova zelkovifolia as well.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A couple of Bohemeian trilobites

No, this post is not about Trilobites that hang out in coffee shops reading poetry, rather it's to display two fossils from the western region of the Czech Republic.

The first is Aulacopleura konincki. It comes from the Liten fm. near Lodenice and is dated to the Silurian (Wenlock series).

The second fossil is Ellipsocephalis hoffi from the Jince fm. near Jince and is dated to the middle Cambrian period.

The website Trilobites.info has a page dedicated to the Trilbites found in the Jince formation.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Burgess Shale toys

When I visited the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto last year I found a set of "Toys" for sale in the gift shop. In my mind they are models and could only be considered toys due to their bright colors. Then again, I still play with toys so maybe I'm wrong.

The set depicts five animals that are found in the Burgess shale and related communities of British Columbia. Here are all five together so you can see the approximate scale of each piece to each other. They are not to scale otherwise.

Included in the set is the Trilobite Olenoides (which is an important index fossil for the Cambrian):

Antenna and legs are depicted with a fair amount of detail

Then there is Wiwaxia which is an oddball but thought to be related to the molluscs:

The flat vertical spines that project along the sides are among the most odd features of the creature.

They even included what looks like the mouth or feeding apparatus on the underside. This is a neat detail to put on the model despite the fact that most people would likely not look for it or know what it is.

Next up is Opabina, one of my favorite creatures found in the Burgess shale. It has five compound eyes on stalks and a trunk like extension with a clamping mouth on the end. One wonders how this primitive Arthropod lived?

Laggania is related to Anomalocaris and both were top predators in their time. It's body is shorter than Anomalocaris and the eyes are positioned on top of the head rather than the sides.

The disc like mouth and segmented feeding arms are well detailed.

The last piece in the set is Pikaia which is thought to be a protochordate which means it may be the oldest ancestor of all animals that possess a backbone including fish, dinosaurs and humans.

I'm not sure what the rib or fin like projections are supposed to be on the underside. Maybe it was the ancestor of the super model.

The set is reasonably priced at $30 Cdn. and can be purchased at the museum gift shop or from their website: http://rom.enssc.com/ On the left hand side menu, click on ROM Reproductions and the set will be listed near the bottom.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Possible Pentamerella from Arkona?

This tiny brachiopod was sifted out of some gravel that I collected from the Hungry Hollow member of the Widder formation (Devonian, Givetian stage) at Arkona. I'm not entirely sure of what it is but I'm wondering if it's a juvenile Pentamerella?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A couple of Eocene echinoids from Florida

Today I'm featuring a couple of echinoids from the Eocene aged Ocala Limestone in Florida. First up is Oligopygus haldemani.

Next we have Eupatagus antillarum 

Both of these are somewhat common species as I see them posted on E-bay and at fossil shows often. I purchased both of the above specimens from E-bay as comparison specimens so I can better see the differences between the various types of echinoids.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Snail casts from the Arkona formation

Most of the fossils that I find from the Arkona shale are small and pyritized like the two shown below. I think they are both Nanticonema lineata.

The Arkona shale is Devonian aged (Givetian stage).