A very bored Permian brachiopod

November 15th, 2009


COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS–I never get tired of that too-obvious joke. I found the above productid brachiopod on the last outcrop of our little Texas expedition. It has been drilled by barnacles, which leave a distinctive slit-shaped hole with a tiny little comma shape at one end. It may not look special here photographed on my backpack in the sunlight, but it is. Hard substrate communities in the Permian are still poorly known. This specimen tells us that a future trip may reveal many more such specimens.

Paleontologists (and anyone else) should be able to tell me whether these borings were produced during the life of the brachiopod or after its death. Your determination can be posted in the comments below!

3 Responses to “A very bored Permian brachiopod”

  1. Katherine Marencoon 20 Nov 2009 at 6:36 pm

    After the brachiopod’s death! (I hope I’m not missing something in the photo.)

  2. Mark Wilsonon 20 Nov 2009 at 9:40 pm

    That’s it, Katherine! The ventral valve is bored here, and it would have been in the sediment during life. Thanks for answering!

  3. catclawon 16 Jan 2010 at 9:30 am

    Enjoyed the pix and info. It has been several years since I have been on a field trip. The snake skin is an old trick the fossils use to keep from being collected.

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