Tag Archives: ichnology

Spectacular shrimp burrows from the Miocene of Sicily

NOTO, SICILY, ITALY–The first stop on our International Bryozoology Association field trip today was a newly-opened quarry near Cugni di Rio in the dry southeastern countryside of Sicily, a view of which is above. New quarries are always interesting to … Continue reading

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Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: A twisty trace fossil (Lower Carboniferous of northern Kentucky)

My Invertebrate Paleontology students know this as Specimen #8 in the trace fossil exercises section: “the big swirly thing”. It is a representative of the ichnogenus Zoophycos Massalongo, 1855. This trace is well known to paleontologists and sedimentologists alike — … Continue reading

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Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: A bivalve boring from the Upper Ordovician of southern Ohio

This week’s fossil is from close to home. In fact, it sit in my office. The above is a trace fossil named Petroxestes pera. It was produced on a carbonate hardground by a mytilacean bivalve known as Modiolopsis (shown below). … Continue reading

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Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: Birch wood with beetle borings (Oligocene of Oregon)

We may be at the Geological Society of America annual meeting today, but that doesn’t stop Fossil of the Week! This week’s fossil is a beautifully-detailed piece of petrified birch wood (Betula) with tree rings and insect borings throughout. It … Continue reading

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Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: Bivalve Borings (Upper Miocene of Spain)

This beautiful object has a complex history. In the center is a gray limestone cobble that eroded from an underwater ridge and rolled free on a shallow coral reef in an area now near Abanilla, southeastern Spain. It was encrusted … Continue reading

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Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: a cameloid footprint (Miocene of California)

This fossil is from near my hometown of Barstow, California. It was collected many years ago loose in talus from the Barstow Formation (Barstovian, Miocene). I note this carefully because today collecting such specimens from the Fossil Beds of the … Continue reading

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Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: dinosaur gastroliths (Jurassic of Utah, USA)

These rounded stones are labeled in our collections as gastroliths (literally “stomach stones”) from Starr Springs near Hanksville, Wayne County, Utah. I’m featuring them this week in honor of our Utah Project team working right now in the baking Black … Continue reading

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Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: a trilobite burrow (Upper Ordovician of Ohio)

This is one of my favorite trace fossils. Rusophycus pudicum Hall, 1852, is its formal name. It was made by a trilobite digging down into the seafloor sediment back during the Ordovician Period in what is now southern Ohio. It … Continue reading

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Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: Intricate networks of tiny holes (clionaid sponge borings)

The most effective agents of marine bioerosion today are among the simplest of animals: clionaid sponges. The traces they make in carbonate substrates are spherical chambers connected by short tunnels, as shown above in a modern example excavated in an … Continue reading

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Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: the classic bioclaustration (Upper Ordovician of Ohio)

We’re looking at two fossils above. One is the bryozoan Peronopora, the major skeletal structure. The second is the odd series of scalloped holes in its surface. These are a trace fossil called Catellocaula vallata Palmer and Wilson 1988. They … Continue reading

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