A very bored Permian brachiopod


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!

About Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is a Professor of Geology at The College of Wooster. He specializes in invertebrate paleontology, carbonate sedimentology, and stratigraphy. He also is an expert on pseudoscience, especially creationism.
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3 Responses to A very bored Permian brachiopod

  1. Katherine Marenco says:

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

  2. Mark Wilson says:

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

  3. catclaw says:

    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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