Shell Yard

8 October 2008

The latest edition of the Boneyard is up over at The Other 95%!  Kevin did a great job highlighting the inverts this time around.  Will Baird’s excellent, expansive essay on Carboniferous ecology competitively excluded my own Carboniferous ramblings, but here’s a mystery Arrow Canyon fossil as a consolation prize!

Anyone have any clue what this is (no, not the finger)?

6 Responses to “Shell Yard”

  1. Strangetruther Says:

    Sternum of a small bird, from the top? (but you probably knew that, if it’s right). Can’t be bothered to check my collection for similarities.


  2. Neil Says:

    Hmm…I see the resemblance but the rocks are mid-Carboniferous (~310 mya or so), a bit old for a bird fossil. I actually don’t know what it is though so we’ll have to see if anyone else has another guess…

  3. John Jackson Says:

    Oh – how fascinating! 🙂 I still haven’t been up to the loft since 12th Oct, but as it’s an old fossil, this reminds me of John Maynard Smith’s answer to my suggestion that evolution isn’t testable: “If you found a rabbit in the Pre-Cambrian…”.

    I’d say your thing had bilateral symmetry. The photo blows up every well, and you can see some kind of track, like from a rolled coin, descending from the horn nearest your finger, running down the edge of the thing’s “cloak”. The milled rim track is more obvious lower down.

    The section towards the lower right end looks a bit like a cuttlefish bone.

  4. stats Says:

    Upside down Brachiopod… maybe spirifera?
    Common in the Carboniferous…

  5. neil Says:

    That’s my suspicion. Seemed a bit “long” for a spiriferid to me but perhaps that’s just the way the valve has been sectioned.

  6. stats Says:

    Yes. Probably too long, but hard to say how much of the shell is there.

    I was out collecting today and saw a few shells that looked similar. They are from the lower Permian of Kansas.

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