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Got A Starfish Here. What Might It Be Called?


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Maybe some of you have already noticed that I recently posted a starfish in my gallery which I found at James Dick quarry in Gamebridge, Ontario. I thought it was a Stenaster salteri, but crabfossilsteve, who is familiar with the fauna of the Ordovician Bobcaygeon Formation in which it was found, doesn't think so. Unfortunately he also doesn't know what it might be and neither do I. The preservation isn't the best, which also doesn't help, but maybe someone in the know has a better idea?

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Greetings from the Lake of Constance. Roger

http://www.steinkern.de/

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Roger,

Can't help with the ID - sorry.

What is the size of the starfish?

It's a great find - Thanks for posting it.

Regards,

    Tim    -  VETERAN SHALE SPLITTER

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Can you give some idea of the size? Sometimes if you photograph these things in alcohol the plate boundaries show up better. If not, you can drink the alcohol and then at least the fossil will look much better.

I'm inclined to think of something along the lines of Salteraster or Urasterella (note: the Salteraster image is from Crinus' excellent web site) as possibilities for the ID.

I think Crinus would be the go-to guy for an ID on this one.

Don

Edited by FossilDAWG
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According to Hessin 2009; Salteraster wilsonae is the correct Bobcaygeon species. Additionally, Stenaster salteri is actually Stenaster obtusus:

 

Quote

In the Bobcaygeon Formation the genus is represented by Salteraster wilsonae (Raymond) which historically had been included in the genus Promopalaeaster. Branstrattor (1975) made this new assignment but referred the species erroneously to S. huxleyi (Billings) which is from significantly older rocks of Middle Ordovician Chazyan age.

 

The species name Stenaster salteri Billings, 1858 has long been applied to specimens occurring in the Bobcaygeon and Verulam formations of Ontario. However, the Treatise and some workers consider it to be a junior synonym of S. obtusus Forbes, 1848 which has precedence by ten years in published literature.
 
Hessin, W.A. (2009)
South-Central Ontario Fossils: A Guide to the Ancient Marine Life of the Region.
Cobourg, Ontario, Canada, 286 pp.

 

 

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Not the best specimen Roger to make a determination of what it is. I would tend to agree that it is not a stenaster. I was thinking it most looks like a Protopalaeaster which is found in the Veralum. Based on where you found the specimen it is from the bottom of the Veralum or the top of the Bob Caygeon. Just because it was in that berm there is no guarantee that it actually came out of the water filled pit. It did not particularly look like a salteraster wilsonae to me but again the preservation is not good and the fossil appears to be somewhat sheared. My recollection of the size of the fossil (I was there when he found it) is that it is on the small side to be a salteraster.

Edited by Malcolmt
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Thanks for your input everyone. Now that I've immersed myself in alcohol I can estimate that it's at least 1 inch long smiley31.gif. I checked out Protopaleaster and it looks like it could fit the bill, but I'll still give it a while here to see if there are any more opinions.

 

Greetings from the Lake of Constance. Roger

http://www.steinkern.de/

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Either Salteraster huxleyi and Salteraster wilsonae is currently used. Dr. Fred Hotchkiss is the one who corrected all the starfish ID's on my web page. He told me to use Salteraster huxleyi and he believes that eventually wilsonae will be a synonymy of huxleyi.

Link to Dr. Hotchkiss' web page http://www.mprinstitute.org/fossils.asp

crinus

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On 10/29/2014 at 9:25 AM, crinus said:

Either Salteraster huxleyi and Salteraster wilsonae is currently used. Dr. Fred Hotchkiss is the one who corrected all the starfish ID's on my web page. He told me to use Salteraster huxleyi and he believes that eventually wilsonae will be a synonymy of huxleyi.

Link to Dr. Hotchkiss' web page http://www.mprinstitute.org/fossils.asp

crinus

 

 

It's confusing that he told you to use S. huxleyi when he's not even using it. Just as Hessin 2009 suggested, he recommends the combination of S. wilsonae "until the possible synonymy with S. huxleyi can be investigated as a future research project".

 

 

 

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