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Found 14 results

  1. From the album: Pennsylvanian Fossils of Northeast Oklahoma

    This young, possibly ephebic, corallite had a very deep attachment area on bottom. This rapid upward growth may have occurred in response to—you guessed it: Sinking in the mud.
  2. From the album: Pennsylvanian Fossils of Northeast Oklahoma

    The next few images will show some of the many growth forms of Gymnophyllum wardi, a solitary rugose button coral. G. wardi is the only known species of the genus. It is locally common in the Middle Pennsylvanian (Westphalian) Wewoka Formation in Okmulgee County Oklahoma. Fossils of the species also occur in the lower part of the Labette Shale in Rogers County Oklahoma. The tiny corallite in this image displays many characteristics of the early, neanic, stage of growth, including crooked septa and a deep central pit.
  3. From the album: Pennsylvanian Fossils of Northeast Oklahoma

    This tiny Gymnophyllum wardi corallite shows neanic characteristics, including long septa that extend from the center of the calyx to the periphery. Also, at the center of the bottom side, you can see the small area where the corallite attached to the mud in shallow, calm seas where these corals are believed to have lived.
  4. From the album: Pennsylvanian Fossils of Northeast Oklahoma

    This Gymnophyllum wardi corallite exhibits characteristics associated with the ephebic (maturing, or nearly mature) stage of growth. For instance, note the beginnings of a central dome on top.
  5. From the album: Pennsylvanian Fossils of Northeast Oklahoma

    The Gymnophyllum wardi corallite in this photo shows various ephebic characteristics, such as the insertion of minor septa between the central dome and the periphery.
  6. From the album: Pennsylvanian Fossils of Northeast Oklahoma

    This likely ephebic corallite of Gymnophyllum wardi displays the notched septal ends that are often seen in this species.
  7. From the album: Pennsylvanian Fossils of Northeast Oklahoma

    This specimen of Gymnophyllum wardi appears to be mature, having a broad, smooth central dome on top and fused septa that are visible mainly near the periphery. This species grew by spreading horizontally, a process that often left conspicuous growth lines on the bottom surface of the corallite.
  8. From the album: Pennsylvanian Fossils of Northeast Oklahoma

    This mature Gymnophyllum wardi corallite looks like a pie crust due to the prominent central dome, fused septal ends, and the three apparent wounds on top. Fusing of the septa served to increase the surface area of the base. This may have kept corallites from sinking in soft mud.
  9. From the album: Pennsylvanian Fossils of Northeast Oklahoma

    Some mature specimens of Gymnophyllum wardi had low, flat tops. Again, note the fusing of some (but not all) of the septa near the periphery. Also see the prominent growth lines on the bottom surface.
  10. From the album: Pennsylvanian Fossils of Northeast Oklahoma

    The growth lines on the bottom surface of this mature specimen give the appearance of several corallites stacked one upon the other. This pattern is often seen in Gymnophyllum wardi and may indicate sequences of regenerative events.
  11. From the album: Pennsylvanian Fossils of Northeast Oklahoma

    This mature specimen of Gymnophyllum wardi has very thick growth lines on the bottom surface.
  12. From the album: Pennsylvanian Fossils of Northeast Oklahoma

    Gymnophyllum wardi corallites often display swelling at the ends of the septa, a characteristic that may have helped prevent sinking in soft mud.
  13. From the album: Pennsylvanian Fossils of Northeast Oklahoma

    Some corallites of Gymnophyllum wardi exhibit partial walls at the periphery of the calyx. Again, this may have been an adaptation to limit sinking in mud.
  14. From the album: Pennsylvanian Fossils of Northeast Oklahoma

    This specimen of Gymnophyllum wardi shows evidence of regeneration (the appearance of one corallite growing atop another). The angle of regeneration suggests the young corallite may have become tilted before sprouting a new top in a more upright orientation. Although Gymnophyllum wardi has been extinct for millions of years, we can imagine their appearance in life based on pictures we can see by googling the term “button coral”. If you would like to learn more about Gymnophyllum wardi, I recommend two excellent sources that can be downloaded as pdf files from Google Scholar, as f
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