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Brachio Bill

Devonian Identification Dilemma

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Brachio Bill

Recently I have taken interest in fossil hunting after discovering a plethora of fossils from some farmland in Southern Indiana.  It is my understanding the fossils are from the Devonian period.

 

My grandsons (5 and 6 years old) and I have collected several specimens I’ve the last couple of months.  I have been searching the Internet for weeks trying to correctly identify our finds and just when I think I have something identified —I find other possibilities.

 

I would like to make displays for the grandkids and label our other collections appropriately.  

 

I am in hopes this community would help identify the specimens, and provide advice on how best to label the fossils.  I appreciate any assistance that can be provided.  Thanks. —Bill Shingleton

 

PS:  All the fossils depicted are from Jeffersonville, IN.

 

83EB78F1-583B-40C6-BE46-4466694512AC.jpeg  D96B1B7E-557F-4B9F-9126-2952AE8E2604.jpeg

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768CFF70-0C90-4DDE-9DCA-E22B335FA24A.jpeg  A1E1EED0-F03F-4EA7-BA63-A17AD502A908.jpeg

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4B3192B0-D709-4709-B13B-43813299FB1D.jpeg A5D49A52-96D3-446B-9F96-2DA4BC1AF31F.jpeg

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CABF8FA7-33D8-4C22-9EEE-EDD82D9FE255.jpeg  9EDDDBC5-E899-43E5-B4A7-2098CAB9CE0F.jpeg

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9A8909D1-A2D6-4D85-A67B-33CAD33D8F3A.jpeg  

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piranha

The phacopid trilobite and many of the other fossils are consistent with the preservation found in the New Chapel Chert of Clark County.

 

Campbell, G. 1942

Middle Devonian Stratigraphy of Indiana.

Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, 53(7):1055-1072

 

Whitlatch, G.I., Huddle, J.W. 1931

The Stratigraphy and Structure of a Devonian Limestone Area in Clark County, Indiana.

Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science, 41:363-390  PDF LINK

 

image.png.8202c226abaf631d406d1f8c12f6e4ef.png

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pefty

Piranha may be right about the New Chapel Chert, but a closely related formation is the Jeffersonville Limestone, whose fossils are expounded upon in this lovely KGS publication available free online: https://kgs.uky.edu/kgsweb/olops/pub/kgs/KGSXISP19reduce.pdf

 

Falls of the Ohio State Park also used to host this webpage detailing the various fossils to be found there, in their outcrops of the Jeffersonville Limestone: https://web.archive.org/web/20120717004614/http://www.fallsoftheohio.org/fossils.html

 

 

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Brachio Bill

Thanks, Pefty!  The KGS document is interesting.  I really liked the archived weblink to the Falls of the Ohio.  I am particularly interested in identifying the different Brachiopods we’ve collected, but unfortunately the links to the photos of “Brachiopods of the Falls area,” have either been removed or disabled.  Of course that was archive from 2012.

 

Thanks for the help and I’ll continue my research into identifying them. —BB

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Brachio Bill
Posted (edited)
On 8/5/2020 at 1:16 AM, piranha said:

The phacopid trilobite and many of the other fossils are consistent with the preservation found in the New Chapel Chert of Clark County.

 

Campbell, G. 1942

Middle Devonian Stratigraphy of Indiana.

Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, 53(7):1055-1072

image.png.8202c226abaf631d406d1f8c12f6e4ef.png

 

Edited by Brachio Bill

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Brachio Bill

Piranha, that corroborates what I was told about the area.  Thanks for your help! —BB

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Paleome

What a magnificent collection of fossils!  They will create a beautiful display!  Your grandkids are very lucky!:envy:

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aek

Nice collection and photography.

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pefty

Linsley's excellent pictorial guide to fossils of this age from New York can be downloaded according to instructions found at the link below. Iirc the NY stratigraphic equivalent of the New Chapel Chert is the Delphi Station Member of the Skaneateles Formation of the Hamilton Group.

 

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pefty

Actually I bet Alan Goldstein at Falls of the Ohio would love to help you get those identified. Or at least could help resurrect that old website's photos for you. His publicly listed email address is park@fallsoftheohio.org

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Brachio Bill
57 minutes ago, aek said:

Nice collection and photography.

Thanks.  The fossils were photographed using an iPhone Xr and then photoshopped and matted on a background using PicsArt app.

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Brachio Bill
19 minutes ago, pefty said:

Actually I bet Alan Goldstein at Falls of the Ohio would love to help you get those identified. Or at least could help resurrect that old website's photos for you. His publicly listed email address is park@fallsoftheohio.org

You read my mind.  :-)

I actually emailed him last week asking if he would mind helping us label our fossils.  There is a Falls tour this weekend that I’m hoping to go to and speak with him.

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Brachio Bill
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, pefty said:

Linsley's excellent pictorial guide to fossils of this age from New York can be downloaded according to instructions found at the link below. Iirc the NY stratigraphic equivalent of the New Chapel Chert is the Delphi Station Member of the Skaneateles Formation of the Hamilton Group.

 

This is the kind of resource that I've been spent several weeks searching for on the internet!  This is terrific --a little information overload-- but very much appreciated!!

Edited by Brachio Bill
Grammar

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Misha

I am not sure I can help with getting you an ID, but I just wanted to say:

These are some gorgeous fossils! Brachiopods are among my favorites

Yours have wonderful color and amazing preservation,

The photography is great too

Good luck with your future hunts!

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Brachio Bill
On 8/6/2020 at 11:47 PM, Misha said:

I am not sure I can help with getting you an ID, but I just wanted to say:

These are some gorgeous fossils! Brachiopods are among my favorites

Yours have wonderful color and amazing preservation,

The photography is great too

Good luck with your future hunts!

Thanks for the comments, Misha.  As a kid, when I was fortunate to find a fossil, the only specimens I found were small and mostly buried in matrix.  I was shocked and amazed to find loose, intact fossils literally just lying in the dirt.  My grandsons have a blast looking for “dinosaur bones” and I’m able to enjoy their enthusiasm and relive some childhood fun myself.

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Kentuckiana Mike

Thanks for sharing these pictures. Your photography is very good.

 

Here are my guesses as to what you have found.

#1 Not sure
#2 Spinocyrtia (Platyrachella) oweni? brachiopod (I have also seen this identified as Orthospirifer)
#3 Horn coral
#4 Psuedoatrypa brachiopod
#5 Spinocyrtia (Platyrachella) oweni? brachiopod
#6 Maybe Bembexia gastropod
#7 Bordenia knappi horn coral (Speed Limestone)
#8 Pseudoatrypa brachiopod
#9 Pseudoatrypa brachiopod
#10 Atrypa brachiopod (maybe Silver Creek Member)
#11 Not sure
#12 Rock - could be trace fossil
#13 Pelecypod fossil
#14 Pseudoatrypa brachiopod
#15 Bembexia sulcomarginata? gastropod
#16 Paracylas elliptica pelecypod
#17 botryoidal calcite
#18 Pseudoatrypa brachiopod (maybe Silver Creek Member)
#19 Modiomorpha concentrica pelecypod
#20 Pseudoatrypa brachiopod
#21 Not sure
#22 Cupularostrum tethys brachiopod
#23 Favosites colonial coral
#24 geodized? crinoid stem
#25 horn coral
#26 Bembexia sulcomarginata? gastropod
#27 Not sure
#28 some type of coral
#29 Thamnoptychia alternans branching coral (I have also seen this identified as Trachypora sp.)
#30 Thamnoptychia alternans branching coral with a beekite pattern
#31 Rock, possible trace fossil
#32 crinoid stems
#33 Phacops rana? trilobite cephalon (The way to tell if it is composed of chert/silica, put a drop of vinegar on the bottom non-fossil part and if it bubbles it is limestone and not chert)

 

Good luck with your project.

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Brachio Bill
2 hours ago, Kentuckiana Mike said:

Thanks for sharing these pictures. Your photography is very good.

 

Here are my guesses as to what you have found.

#1 Not sure
#2 Spinocyrtia (Platyrachella) oweni? brachiopod (I have also seen this identified as Orthospirifer)
#3 Horn coral
#4 Psuedoatrypa brachiopod
#5 Spinocyrtia (Platyrachella) oweni? brachiopod
#6 Maybe Bembexia gastropod
#7 Bordenia knappi horn coral (Speed Limestone)
#8 Pseudoatrypa brachiopod
#9 Pseudoatrypa brachiopod
#10 Atrypa brachiopod (maybe Silver Creek Member)
#11 Not sure
#12 Rock - could be trace fossil
#13 Pelecypod fossil
#14 Pseudoatrypa brachiopod
#15 Bembexia sulcomarginata? gastropod
#16 Paracylas elliptica pelecypod
#17 botryoidal calcite
#18 Pseudoatrypa brachiopod (maybe Silver Creek Member)
#19 Modiomorpha concentrica pelecypod
#20 Pseudoatrypa brachiopod
#21 Not sure
#22 Cupularostrum tethys brachiopod
#23 Favosites colonial coral
#24 geodized? crinoid stem
#25 horn coral
#26 Bembexia sulcomarginata? gastropod
#27 Not sure
#28 some type of coral
#29 Thamnoptychia alternans branching coral (I have also seen this identified as Trachypora sp.)
#30 Thamnoptychia alternans branching coral with a beekite pattern
#31 Rock, possible trace fossil
#32 crinoid stems
#33 Phacops rana? trilobite cephalon (The way to tell if it is composed of chert/silica, put a drop of vinegar on the bottom non-fossil part and if it bubbles it is limestone and not chert)

 

Good luck with your project.

Mike, that has been very helpful.  Thanks for all your assistance!  I’m looking forward to finally getting the specimens labeled so me and my grandsons can go back in the field to hunt for more specimens.

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Brachio Bill

I have two more specimens that I’d like consultation from the group.

 

The first I found in a dirt wall that had been excavated for a basement foundation.
 

What is your opinion: rock or fossil?
 

It has a rough, irregular surface.

According to ROCKD, the stratigraphic unit is: Osgood/Brassfield formation, and the age is Early Silurian.  This was found in Jefferson County, KY.

1E34C646-5EE3-422C-A7D0-5C876385D6AE.png

B5C08507-EBCD-45F5-BE7A-7A8345839850.jpeg

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Brachio Bill

Here is another fossil I’d like to have the group review and share your thoughts.


This is another unidentified specimen found in the Devonian period from Southern Indiana, in the Chapel Chert formation.

 

It appears to me to be a pelecyopod.  What are your opinions?


1) top view (magnified x2 with white LED light source to enhance striation detail)

2) lateral view

3) scaled photo (1 cm)

 

The bottom view is matrix-filled which leads me to believe the this is only one half of the animal.

 

Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks.

35E52D25-1F93-4BA5-94D0-40D81614F830.png

B9735495-C888-436D-BBB5-50329019744D.png

6A976FB0-5803-4FC2-9B43-2D52442C0541.jpeg

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Kentuckiana Mike

I think it might the steinkern of a Megastrophia hemisphericus brachiopod fossil.

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Brachio Bill

Thanks, Mike!  It’s my first steinkern.  It never occurred to me that it could be an internal cast of an animal.

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