Saturday, May 31, 2014

Spinadiscus Edrioasteroid from Morocco

Some recent finds in Morocco have yielded numerous examples of the Edrioasteroid Spinadiscus lefebvrei. It seems that they are all found "loose" in the rock. That is to say they are not attached to a shell or other obvious hard substrate. These come from the Tiouririne Formation (Ordovician, Hirnantian stage) near Alnif, Morocco. Here are a couple of examples that I recently added to my collection.

Specimen #1

Specimen #2

Ediroasteroids are echinoderms and their relation to starfish is fairly obvious. They were stationary suspension feeders that sifted the water for food particles.Compare these specimens with some from the Ordovician of Ohio that I blogged about Here.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Paulicystis sp. Cystoid from Indiana

I recently acquired this Cystoid specimen called Paulicystis densus at a fossil show. It's from the Osgood shale (Silurian, Telychian to Sheinwoodian stage) and was collected in Napoleon, Indiana. I've collected at the same site before but I've only found Holocystites type cystoids. Paulicystis is a new genus that was named in 2011 by T.J. Frest and H.L. Stimple (honoring C.R.C. Paul) based on material donated by Don Bissett. The former two coauthored a paper but it never saw publication until 2011. Sadly both had passed before this occurred. The paper was finally completed in 2011 by C.R.C. Paul and published by the Paleontologial Research Institute in the Bulletins of American Paleontology, Number 380, March 2011. Click on the link to download a copy for yourself.

The opening is the picture below is the oral area
And this is the Anal opening.

These next two pictures show the base of the Cystoid which shows that it had a very wide attachment to the seafloor.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cornuproetus sp. trilobite from Morocco

I picked up a few new Moroccan trilobites recently. This was one of them, a Cornuproetus. It's a smaller genera of trilobite but has long genal spines off the sides of the Cephalon. There was no label included with this fossil but most sources I see on the internet ID their specimens as coming from the Hamar Laghdad Formation (Devonian, Eifelian stage), Djebel Issoumour, Alnif , Morocco. The preparation is not too bad but there are some chips missing from the exoskeleton and portions of the thorax are a little rough. It's a less common species and I didn't have to pay a lot so it's not part of my collection.

Some nice detail in the eyes and cephalon.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Parahomalonotus sp. trilobite from Morocco

I picked up a few new Moroccan trilobites recently. This was one of them, a Parahomalonotus. I had never seen one of these before encountering this specimen at a show. It immediately reminded me of a Trimerus or Dipleura trilobite. It is very obvious that this has had some repair work done to it with very visible epoxy filling missing sections in the thorax and around the one eye as well as tool marks. Upon examination, the rock that it rests on is consistent throughout for texture and color, the cracks all line up with the fossil and I see no obvious paint or casting bubbles. There was no label included with the fossil but from what I have been able to research, Parahomalonotus lived during the early Devonian (Lockhovian stage). No clue what formation or where it was found in Morocco.

Normally I don't buy lower quality fossils, like this one, but this was an oddball I'd never seen and the price was ridiculously low. The dealer told me it had come from a old collection and that it was among "the junk" which is why it was priced so low. For me it is perfect as an example of a fairly rare species. A search on Google does not yield many results of specimens for sale and most of them are going for hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Nerinea sp. and Nummocalcar sp. gastropods from France

Today I'm featuring two snail fossils from France. Below is a Nerinea sp. gastropod still embedded in matrix. This specimen comes from near Montreuil-Bellay which is a little south and west of Tours, France. The rock the fossil is embedded within looks very similar to those from the Caen region of France but its from the Callovian stage of the Jurassic (rather than the Bajocian) which means it is younger.

Moving up in the geologic column to the Albian stage of the Cretaceous we have a Nummocalcar sp. (Solarium), from Bellegarde sur Valserine, France which is in the Alps close to the Switzerland border. This is a much more flat or planispiral shell than the elongated, conical shell of Nerinea

Thanks to Gery for sending me these fossils.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Trigonia pelecypod and Loboidothyris brachiopod from France

Today features a couple more fossils from the region around Caen in France. Some of the local rocks have a characteristic tan color with small red Hematite concretions scattered within. This gets translated to the fossils as well giving them a distinctive look.

Here is a Trigonia sp. pelecypod. It is complete but the left valve is not in good shape so I didn't take a picture of it.

Right valve
Left profile
Right profile

Next is the brachiopod Loboidothyris ingens. This specimen is very large, close to 5cm in length.

Brachial valve
Pedicle valve (with some kind of bryozoan or coral epibont on the right side).

Thanks to Gery for sending me these fossils!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Aegocrioceras sp. Ammonite from Germany

This is the heteromorph ammonite Aegocrioceras sp. which comes from Resse (near Hannover), Germany and Cretaceous (Hauterivian stage) rocks. Heteromorph ammonites are identified by their "loose" to non existent coils. Most Ammonites are tightly coiled with each subsequent coil overlapping the one prior. This Aegocrioceras may have started out with a tighter coil but as it grew the shell separated. I don't know if this gave it an evolutionary advantage or not but it looks cool.

Thanks to Nils for the specimen.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A pair of white Ammonites from Germany

Both of the below ammonites come from the area around Vöhrum (east of Hannover), Germany from Cretaceous (Aptian stage) rocks. They are striking for their pure white, opalescent shells.

 This is Hypacanthoplites jacobi

And this is  Leymeriella schrammeni

Thanks to Nils for the specimens!