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Jhbabcoc

3 layers of Michigan coral?

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Jhbabcoc

Hello folks, this is my first post on this site and I was hoping for some basic information on my best find to date. I found this piece outside of Algonac Michigan in one of the main channels that empty into Lake St. Claire.

The piece is almost as large as a baseball, and appears to have 3 distinct layers of different species of coral. Is this in fact three layers, how rare is it(not for selling purposes, just for bragging rights with my son) and also would any preservation methods be recommended to make it look even better?

Living in Michigan(now on the west coast) I am aware that corals are most of what I will find going forward, but what era will most be from so I can narrow my future classification searches.

Thanks for all your help!

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post-21580-0-00726700-1464522535_thumb.jpg

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tmaier

Yes, in the first photo you show three different corals. From left to right you have colonial horn coral (Rugosa), then some coral I can't identify, and then favosite coral one the far right. Scanning around the internet it looks like this might be Devonian in age, about 400 million years old. Wait for more answers, because some people are likely to be more familiar with your specific area.

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doushantuo

I'm not someone with field experience................

Having said that,overgrowth relations are common among clonal organisms such as corals and bryozoans.I'm tempted to say this is the equivalent of a rhodolith or bryolith,

Edited by doushantuo

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tmaier

To clean it up, you can start with just water and a toothbrush. That's pretty gentle. With some fossils that are pretty solidly calcified, you can use a tooth brush and vinegar. If you use the vinegar, watch carefully that it is not destroying the tiny features of the fossil itself. The vinegar should dissolve the loose limestone, but it can also attack the fossil, so use with caution, and rinse thoroughly with plain water to remove any residual vinegar.

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doushantuo

Needless to say my jealousy extends from Holland right up to near the Coalsack Nebula.

Perhaps i should point out/clarify that by overgrowth,I didn't mean to imply contemporaneous ("competitive") overgrowth.

The longer I think about this piece ,the more intriguing I find it.

The polygonal ones remind me of Favosites.

Edited by doushantuo

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tmaier

Yeah, when one coral head dies, another one of a different species can use that as a platform for establishing a new colony. That is a nice fossil. To identify corals is helps to have very close and detailed photos of the structures of the corralites, the tiny openings of each coral animal. The shape of the opening and the little internal structures called septa are important diagnostics. They are pretty obvious for the horn coral and the favosite, but the coral inbetween is too blurry to get a good look at.

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Jhbabcoc

Thanks for the info, after googling for the horn coral, it really opened Pandora's box of information for me. I wasn't really sure where to start before.

I can't get a close enough clear picture of the middle section but after searching horn coral, Emmonsia came up as a common colonial coral for the general area, and it looks very similar.

Me and the little one are going back out to the lake today so hopefully I'll have more later today.

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