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Mesoceph

Brachiopods

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Mesoceph

As with my other posts so far, I should preface this post by saying that the Paleozoic, marine ecosystems, and invertebrates are not generally my primary expertise, so I apologize if I am wildly off base or asking stupid questions.  Sadly, I did not find these specimens myself, and so I do not have any particularly useful information on age or location.  They were left in a desk drawer along with a collection of other invertebrate fossils, most (if not all) of which are Paleozoic in age.  They look to my untrained eye to be the same species of brachiopod, although I have no idea what species that is.  Any taxonomic information beyond just "brachiopod" would be awesome.  Here are the pictures.  While photographing, I kept the specimens in the same order, so the one on the left/right is the same specimen in each picture.  Thank you in advance for your time and input.

 

 

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Mesoceph

Thank you for your response!  Under a hand lens (the only magnification I have at the moment, though I'll see about getting it under a microscope later in the week), I see some porous structure, but I am honestly not familiar enough with invertebrates to know if I am looking at original microstructure or something taphonomic in nature.  What I'm seeing is picked up a little bit in the photographs, especially the left specimen in the 3rd photo and the right specimen in the 5th photo.  

 

Thank you again for taking the time to respond and for your thoughts!

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Mesoceph

Thank you for that!  Your picture is much more clearly structured and organized than what I'm seeing, so I think what I am seeing might just be fine-scale pitting on the surface.  It does, however, give me a really useful characteristic to watch for in the future now that I better know what to look for!  If there was a punctate surface, then I think it has mostly been weathered away.  I do see many closely spaced, curved lines running perpendicular to the plane of symmetry across the surface of the shell, which are the only preserved microstructure I can make out, but I'd be surprised if they are diagnostic.  (There are also much more pronounced striations that run parallel to the plane of symmetry that are visible in some of the photos, just to clarify that those are not what I'm referring to.)

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to post a picture!  Even if I can't identify these brachiopods, I'm always happy to learn something new.

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MeargleSchmeargl

It is a little difficult to make out distinguishing features in these images. Can you use more lighting and different, closer camera angles? Would help immensely for an ID.

 

Also, do you know the original owner? If so, they might know a thing or two about the age of these specimens. :dinosmile:

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