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I.D. needed for Zaphrentid corals


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Zaphrentid corals

Lower Carboniferous

Cawdor Shale’s


It would be great to know if I’m looking at separate species here. All suggestions welcome.

Zaphrentid corals wiith original matchbox and label.jpg


Number 1 :

Zaphrentid coral 1a.jpgZaphrentid coral 1b.jpgZaphrentid coral 1c.jpg


Number 2 :


Zaphrentid coral 2a.jpgZaphrentid coral 2b.jpg



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You can't reliably ID these corals without thin sections.  The best you are likely to be able to do is find a publication (as recent as possible) that deals with the solitary rugosans of the Cawdor Shales, and see if the fauna is small enough that you might be able to make a reasonable informed guess.  I suspect (but do not know for sure) that your first specimen is different (taxonomically speaking) from the other two.  However surface details can be quite misleading.  I have a collection I made from the Percha Shale in New Mexico; all the specimens look pretty much identical based on their exterior but internal features have lead to the identification of nearly a dozen genera/species in the fauna.



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Don's right - there are many small zaphrentoids in the Carboniferous and sections are needed to distinguish them. Even then, they're usually difficult. I collect Carboniferous corals but tend to give up with these.:P


(Having said that, Dorothy Hill's excellent monograph "Carboniferous rugose corals of Scotland" has quite a few in it.)

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Thank you @FossilDAWG @TqB for the pointers for these fun little corals. They certainly are a joy to look at with some fantastic detail. Ill see if I can aquire some additional location reading material. Especially that  "Carboniferous rugose corals of Scotland"  if I can source it as a free PDF download.

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