A new paper on crinoids from the Wooster Shale (Lower Carboniferous, Tournaisian) of northeastern Ohio

My wonderful Ohio State colleague Bill Ausich and I have a new paper in the Journal of Paleontology. It just appeared this morning online. It is Open Access, but let me know if you want a pdf and can’t get it through this link. Here is the title and abstract:

Crinoids from the Wooster Shale Member of the Cuyahoga Formation,
Carboniferous (Mississippian, Tournaisian) of northeastern Ohio

Abstract.—Nine crinoids are described from the Wooster Shale Member of the Cuyahoga Formation from Wayne and Ashland counties, Ohio, USA. Identifiable elements of the fauna include five camerate crinoids, one flexible crinoid, and three other eucladid crinoids. Five new species are described, including Cactocrinus woosterensis n. sp., Cusacrinus brushi n. sp., Agaricocrinus murphyi n. sp., Decadocrinus laevis n. sp., and Decadocrinus inordinatus n. sp. Overall, the distribution of crinoid clades in the Wooster Shale is similar to that of the stratigraphically lower Meadville Shale Member of the Cuyahoga Formation, although less diverse and with only one species (Cyathocrinites simplex) in common. Many of the Wooster Shale Member crinoids are completely or partially preserved with siderite either in nodules or within siderite beds. These crinoids are commonly preserved in trauma postures, which is characteristic of burial in episodic high turbulence events. The paleoenvironments and taxa of the two Cuyahoga Formation crinoid faunas more closely resemble Viséan faunas in siliciclastic settings than typical carbonate faunas of the Tournaisian.

The long and narrow image at the top of this post is the new species Cactocrinus woosterensis, named after The College of Wooster for its long support of paleontology research. The scale bar is 5.0 mm.

This is the new species Cusacrinus brushi, named in honor of Dr. Nigel Brush, a friend and colleague from Ashland University and now with a visiting position at Wooster. He also helped greatly in the field work for this study. The scale bar here is 10 mm. Note the specimen is replaced with the iron carbonate mineral siderite. Generations of Wooster geology students will recognize these reddish rocks from local outcrops.

What a delightful project this was! As always, I learn a great deal from my colleagues with these investigations.

[Later addition: Check out the blog post on the Journal of Paleontology site.]


Ausich, W.I. and Wilson, M.A. 2023. Crinoids from the Wooster Shale Member of the Cuyahoga Formation, Carboniferous (Mississippian, Tournaisian) of northeastern Ohio. Journal of Paleontology (online).

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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