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Late Cretaceous Cidaroid from the Prairie Bluff Chalk Donated to the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science


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historianmichael

Over the winter holidays I took advantage of the time I had off from work to go on a nine-day fossil collecting road trip through Mississippi and Alabama. Last week, while collecting at an exposure of the Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) Prairie Bluff Chalk in Alabama, I stumbled upon a fragment of a cidarid echinoid with six associated plates. After some research that night from my hotel room did not provide an identification, I sent an email to George Phillips, the paleontology curator at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, asking for help. What I initially thought was just a cool find turned out to be one much more significant. In his email response, George told me that associated cidaroid plates are quite rare and that in the museum's entire collection, they have only two examples of plates attached as pairs. He said that until then he had never seen one more complete than the one I had found. He further explained that the common Maastrichtian cidaroid of the Gulf Coastal Plain had only been known from isolated plates and spines as either of two genuses and that he strongly believed that this specimen could be enough to finally identify the cidaroid to genus level. Given the importance of the find, I was happy to donate the specimen to George and the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science for further study and publication in a future paper on Maastrichtian echinoids of the Gulf Coastal Plain.

 

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Excellent discovery and contribution, Michael.  Congrats.:fistbump:

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Very very cool!

 

Another great example of avocational fossil hunters having contacts with the professional world and being able to further knowledge.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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Neat find and contribution! Also, nine days wow, sounds like a blast.

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Al Dente

Nice. Makes me wonder if this is the same species we find in the Maastrichtian of North Carolina.

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old bones

Excellent find and outcome!

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Uncle Siphuncle

Very cool.  I’ve found similar in the Maas of TX.

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Jeffrey P

Big congrats Michael on your find and contribution. It sounds like your 9 day trip was very productive. 

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FossilNerd

Awesome find and contribution to science! Congrats and kudos! :thumbsu:

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sixgill pete

Congrats! 

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ClearLake

Very neat!  Good job!

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Sjfriend

This is why this forum / internet access is so good. So many finds would go unrecognized without ways to check our finds when we are not familiar with them.

 

Great find!

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