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RTR227

This is my first post in Fossil Forum...names PD, in the next couple of days I will do an introductory post in the "Introduction" section but I wanted to get started with one of my specimens that has brought me to a wall. Late Devonian - Early Carboniferous, loose find in a fossil contaminated area so identifying the exact formation it came from has been a bit difficult. Possibilities within a stones throw of find are Boone Formation, Penters Chert, Clifty Limestone, Chattanooga Shale and Pitkin Limestone. I have been calling this little guy Tholuslensia collisspongia ONLY until I can  identify the actual genus and species. From my current research, I have an initial taxonomy as follows:

 

Porifera | Demospongiae | Chaetetid | Poecilosclerida | AND THAT IS WHERE MY GIANT WALL BEGINS...

 

As you might already be aware, Arkansas does not have a good public fossil record database (something that I am currently working on changing) and trying to identify this sponge down through family, genus and species has been like trying to find the pin cushion that the needle in the haystack came out of. The University of Arkansas focuses more on fossil fuels than actual fossils, they were quite friendly but unable to provide me with any assistance. Their Museum Collection is off limits to me because I am not a paleontologist, accredited institution or research facility. Even though I am not a paleontologist, I do believe myself capable of figuring this puzzle out. It is just one of many paleontology puzzles I am currently working on.

 

I am not afraid of rabbit holes, big words or old paleontology text books so if you have any information or leads that can help me get past this "wall" then by all means, SHARE ;-).

 

There is a possibility that it could have come out of the Ordovician period. The majority of exposure, sediment and specimens from this location are Devonian/Mississippian. There is one new exposure of Ordovician that has surfaced due to creek erosion. It rests below all other primary material and my collisspongia could have eroded out of that exposure based on sheer proximity to the specimens resting location. I have my doubts though because of the iron staining that has permeated the calcified sandstone.Based on the amount of orange tinting the outer surface displays, I would think that the specimen had to have eroded out and been sitting for some time now. New fractures from the Ordovician peek-a-boo seem to be lighter in color ranging from white to camel tan. This orange tint makes me believe that the Ordovician formation is not the host rock that produced my fossil.

 

That being said, I am perfectly comfortable with the idea and most likely, the actuality of being completely and totally WRONG about everything. So long as I can get  close to the truth, I am good with as many missteps as it will take.

 

Thanks again for anything you have to offer and thank you for helping create this great resource and forum.

 

Specifications:

Length (Middle Lens Curve): 110 mm

Width (Across Lens Curve): 100 mm

Height (Stem to Top of Dome): 70mm

Circumference (Lens Perimeter): 340 mm

 

Substance: White chert, calcified sandstone, limestone present within folds and around bottom stem/base

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tholuslensia_collusspongia_POR-010001-17-LOC11_IMGL2730_DIGITAL_SMALL_FOSSIL FORUM.jpg

Tholuslensia_collusspongia_POR-010001-17-LOC11_IMGL2728_DIGITAL_SMALL_FOSSIL FORUM.jpg

Tholuslensia_collusspongia_POR-010001-17-LOC11_IMGL2727_DIGITAL_SMALL_FOSSIL FORUM.jpg

Tholuslensia_collusspongia_POR-010001-17-LOC11_IMGL2725_DIGITAL_SMALL_FOSSIL FORUM.jpg

Tholuslensia_collusspongia_POR-010001-17-LOC11_IMGL2724_DIGITAL_SMALL_FOSSIL FORUM.jpg

Tholuslensia_collusspongia_POR-010001-17-LOC11_IMGL2721_DIGITAL_SMALL_FOSSIL FORUM.jpg

Tholuslensia_collusspongia_POR-010001-17-LOC11_IMGL2718_DIGITAL_SMALL_FOSSIL FORUM.jpg

Edited by RTR227
couple of grammatical errors and the photos saturation level was off...lightened to appropriate tone and color.

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Macrophyseter

Welcome to the forum! As for the "fossil" (quotations for now), What really gets me is that much of the parts are incredibly thin like wrinkled paper, I'm surprised that it hasn't crumbled.

Also, I'm just wondering if Tholuslensia collisspongia is an actual taxon, because searching it up shows 0 results (literally, google said that there was no results, like when you type in 5 million random characters and google it) If you made that up, then that is an AWESOME name.

But I'm not an expert on non-vertebrates, but I guess I could try to summon a few of the actual fossil experts if you like. Good luck.

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WhodamanHD

Welcome to the forum from Maryland! Sorry I can't help, but I'm sure a local will be here soon to help! Good luck PD!

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RTR227

Thanks for your responses, @ Macrophyseter, the reason you can't find anything in a search for Tholuslensia collisspongia is because that is just the name I gave it until I could discover its given genus/species, if it has one at all. My research only gets me to the "FAMILY." The collisspongia designation is for my own benefit and isn't published nor accepted as an official name. Sorry for the confusion. My brain works better with actualities like words than abstracts like codes. 

 

As for the paper thin wall...it is quite an amazing specimen. The calcium skeletal structure has been completely replaced with a white chert making those paper thin segmentations extremely hard, durable and hyper-detailed. It is a wonderful treasure in my collection.

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DPS Ammonite

  

Welcome to the Fossil Forum.

 

There is a possibility that chert might be molds of crystals that have dissolved away. Additional closer up well-focused photos may help us determine an ID based on shape and structure of openings.

 

Also, be careful with publicizing a proposed name. You might prevent the use of a name that you want if it is mentioned before a proper scientific description is made.

 

Cheers,:)

John

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RTR227

Thanks John, DPS Ammonite, I will prepare my macro photos of the specimen and upload them for closer examination. For future consideration, besides just saying specimen or a coding system, how do paleontologists and scientists name their specimens prior to publication? Should I, or rather, can I just call a specimen something like "Burt" or "Ernie" until publication papers are released? The taxonomy and publication aspect of paleontology seems altogether a "horse of a different color" from the field work and specimen research that I have been independently studying and pursuing.

 

It seems to me, these two variables or studies within paleontology, an alphanumeric scholastic personality and a heterogeneous creative personality, are counter-intuitive to each other. The interpretive nature of paleontology almost requires a mind that doesn't function within an alphanumeric regulatory world. Field work is freeing and imaginative, organized but invigorating and taxonomy/classification/publication, well, it is like having to recite Shakespeare in Klingon. How can these two psychologies be simultaneous within a single person? I assume, like everything else, with time it gets easier but after two years I still find myself stumbling in every direction. 

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RTR227

Thanks for the link and post NWGeoFan.

 

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DPS Ammonite

RTR227, a common way that scientists name unknown fossils is to number them. For example: Unknown demosponge #1 or Unknown productid brachiopod #2 etc. 

 

To help engage both your paleontologically inclined right and left parts of your brain consider joining a local paleontological society where you will meet enthusiasts that use all sides of their brains to solve problems. One such group, The Dallas Paleontological Society (DPS), leads trips to NE Texas that may be close to you. Search for fossils from "North Sulphur River" a popular locality the DPS leads trips to.

 

John

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westcoast

Demosponges (if that is what it is) are a particularly difficult group of fossils to start with! Sorry I can't be of any help but others might.

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Plax
10 hours ago, Macrophyseter said:

Welcome to the forum! As for the "fossil" (quotations for now), What really gets me is that much of the parts are incredibly thin like wrinkled paper, I'm surprised that it hasn't crumbled.

Also, I'm just wondering if Tholuslensia collisspongia is an actual taxon, because searching it up shows 0 results (literally, google said that there was no results, like when you type in 5 million random characters and google it) If you made that up, then that is an AWESOME name.

But I'm not an expert on non-vertebrates, but I guess I could try to summon a few of the actual fossil experts if you like. Good luck.

I agree with you Mac that most names will show up in a google search. Keep in mind though that not everything is available on the web. For instance the Tulane Studies in Geology and Paleontology publication has only recently become available on line. Before that, articles and taxa would only show up if they were referred to in a pub that was available on the web. PDs sponge name will be available in a google search once he displays it on the forum. Just googled the name and there it is!

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