Silurian Fossils


Took some grandsons, Theo, 8, Luc, 6, and Josy, 9, fossil hunting northeast of Lafayette, IN. We had a great time wading in Deer Creek and found some  interesting fresh water mussels, tiny toads, and a cliff full of cliff swallow nests.  And we collected my first ever Silurian material. Not very impressive but one has to start someplace.

The Silurian Period opened 443 million years ago and lasted for 25 million years. The first terrestrial plants emerged near bodies of water.



A simplified colonial coral

A couple of horn corals and a small brachiopod

Waldron Shale, Waldron, IN

An eucalyptocrinites crinoid hold-fast with associated bryozoan, brachiopods, and trilobites. There are more detailed views below the overall image.

This specimen, in my opinion, epitomizes what makes fossil hunting so great. It takes you back millions of years to glimpse the ecology of the time.

A close-up of the hold fast. Included here are a bryozoa below the crinoid, two brachiopods above it, and a tiny piece of a trilobite between the brachiopods.

Even closer view of the bottom of the crinoid stem—notice the five-pointed star in the center of the stem—and the roots that form the holdfast.

Another view of the roots. They intertwine like roots of a plant. I have no idea what the caterpillar-like object is by the brachiopod.

The bryozoan colony to the left and down from the crinoid hold-fast.

It is hard to tell but this may be the calyx or head of a crinoid with a brachiopod.

This horseshoe shaped item is a variety of branching bryozoan. In addition, there are two pieces of trilobites on the right side of the image.