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While dissolving an unknown 2 inch long sponge from the Permian Fort Apache Member of the Schnebly Hill Formation from northern Gila County in Arizona I found several silicified brachiopods with spines. Several Bellaclathrus spinosus brachiopods were present ranging from 0.75 to 1.5 inch across and had spines as long as 1 inch. Thankfully some sort of sudden but gentle event buried the sponge and brachiopods preserving them for me to uncover.
Here is a compilation of two trips to the Payson, Arizona area last month. Early in May, I led a Saturday and Sunday trip for the Southwest Paleontology Society. Since everyone left by lunchtime on Sunday, I headed over to a local cave, Redman Cave, carved in the Devonian Martin Formation to look for nearby fossils. Although I have been in the cave twice, why go where you cannot collect fossils and you might not have enough oxygen to breath. The cave is connected to the disappearance of one of the FBI’s ten most wanted fugitives, Robert Fisher who murdered his family in Scottsdale and left his dog and car nearby. After searching several caves, no trace of him was found. Photo 1: Redman Cave. Photo 2: J. Redman’s grave next to cave. Photo 3: see Fisher’s most wanted poster. link. Photo 4: after visiting the cave, I looked for outcrops of the early Permian Fort Apache Member of the Schnebly Hill Formation. I found this 4.75 inch long silicified sponge branch that was fully exposed after using four gallons of pool acid. Photo 5: later in the month, I went back to the Payson area to look for more treasures. From the Fort Apache Member, AKA the Fort Apache Limestone. Dissolving the matrix with acid, I found this silicified Euphemitopsis gastropod that is about 1.5 cm at its widest. Winters possibly found a part of this shell that he identified as a Euphemites. Euphemites have spiral lira, ridges, over the older part of the shell and the younger part of the shell is usually smooth near the curved notch in the aperture, the selinizone. Euphemitopsis have bumps in the newer area near the selenizone. See this reference for the best information about the fossils from the Fort Apache Member. We are finding new species, including sponges, to add to the list: Winters, S.S. (1963). Supai Formation (Permian) of Eastern Arizona. Geological Society of America Memoir, 89, 99 p. link. Photo 6: same Euphemitopsis sp. as above. Photo 7: same Euphemitopsis sp. as above. Photo 8: Euphemitopsis sp. and high spired Apachella sp. Photo about 1.5 cm tall. Photo 9: probable sponge, note spicules in lower part of photo. Sponge about 5 mm across. Photo 10: an unidentified sponge that looks like a Maeandrostia kansasensis sp. found in the Pennsylvanian in central and eastern US and Actinocoelia maeandrina found in the Permian Kaibab Limestone a few hundred feet stratigraphically above the Fort Apache Limestone. Actinocoelia maeandrina photos and description: Finks, R. M. 1960. Late Paleozoic Sponge Faunas of the Texas Region: the Siliceous Sponges. American Museum of Natural History, Bulletin 120 (1): 160 pp., 50 pl. link. Photo 11: an unidentified sponge that looks like a Chaunactis sp. found in the Pennsylvanian Naco Formation in the area. View about 3 cm across. See: Dilliard, Kelly & Rigby, J.K.. (2001). The New Demosponges, Chaunactis olsoni and Haplistion nacoense, and Associated Sponges from the Pennsylvanian Naco Formation, Central Arizona. Brigham Young University Geology Studies. 46. 1-11. link. Photo 12: an unidentified sponge that looks like a Chaunactis sp. found in the Pennsylvanian Naco Formation in the area. View about 2 cm across. Photo 13: an unidentified specimen that looks like a sponge root structure. 7 cm across. Photo 14: detail of above possible sponge root structure. 3 cm across. Photo 15: Parallelodon anarklastum. Blue lines are about 7 mm apart. Photo 16: hinge view of Parallelodon anarklastum. Blue lines are about 7 mm apart. Photo 17: probably Oncochilus insolutus. Blue lines are about 7 mm apart. Photo 18: Lophamplexus? sp. Blue lines are about 7 mm apart. Photo 19: Straparollus (Euomphalus) sp. Blue lines are about 7 mm apart. Photo 20: several Bellerophon sp. shells with tear-drop shaped borings from barnacles, Rogerella. A Blue lines are about 7 mm apart. Photo 21: Palaeonucula levatiformis bivalves with pronounced dentition. Blue lines are about 7 mm apart. Photo 22: Straparollus (Euomphalus) kaibabensis. 4.5 cm across. It looks almost like a coiled cephalopod except for its square aperture. Photo 23: Plagioglypta canna scaphopod. 7 cm long. Photo 24: and now a fossil from a different age found on the trip. Silicified stromatoporoid, a sponge, from the Devonian Martin Formation. The conical bumps on each layer are mamalons so named since they look like breasts. Blue lines are about 7 mm apart. Edit My goal is to leave no stone or fossil unturned. See my Arizona Paleontology Guide link The best single resource for Arizona paleontology anywhere. Reply to this topic IPS Theme by IPSFocus Theme C The Fossil ForumPowered by Invision Co