Classification

UNKNOWN
Animalia
Poriferaifera?
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
Stromatoporoidea?
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWN

Location

United States
Minnesota
Goodhue
Cannon Falls
44.5069° N
92.9055° W

Geochronology

Phanerozoic
Paleozoic
Ordovician
UNKNOWN
~ 455 mya

Lithostratigraphy

Galena
Decorah Shale
UNKNOWN

Dimensions

1.3
1
0.8

Notes

UNKNOWN
Mark Ryan
2009
Over the past decade I have found 18 or so of these similar, unidentified, mushroom-shaped fossils, all within the same 1.5 square meter area in an exposure of the Decorah in southern Minnesota. I've never come across them at any other Ordovician exposures I've collected at in Minnesota, I've found no information or mention regarding these anomalies in any of the existing literature I've seen. The consensus of those I've contacted with is that they're probably some sort of sponge (perhaps stromatoporoid). Further study is needed. I'm in the process of getting one specimen analyzed in a geology lab at a local university.
  • Mark Ryan posted a new specimen. 6 months ago

    6 months ago
    6 months ago

    Mark Ryan has contributed specimen mFeM 74869 to myFOSSIL!

    • Hi there @mark-ryan You can update the Geochron to Eon: Phanerozoic Era: Paleozoic Period: Ordovician. Based on this group’s fossils, this looks like it may indeed be an Ordovician sponge. Here are some resources for further ID research: http://www.fossilspot.com/STATES/MN.HTM…[Read more]

    • @jbauer any ideas on this one? Seems interesting.

    • Hi @mark-ryan & @vperez – this is a weird one. I am not sure about stromatoporoid, those are calcified so I would expect better preservation. It’s possible that the circular bit on the ‘bottom’ is a nucleation point for a sponge or something trying to anchor down – so it could be an unrelated animal piece. That star shaped pattern on top is also…[Read more]

    • Hi @jbauer – Thanks for your comment. Yes, it’s a very weird fossil. I’m mainly stabbing in the dark about these things but it’s been fun doing so. If it is stromatoporoid, the strange star-shaped feature (astrorhizae?), may be part of it or another creature entirely. I don’t think the circular stalk is unrelated to the “mushroom cap” because in…[Read more]

    • @mark-ryan – this is very interesting. It’s so fun to speculate!!! Especially when everything is so unknown. It’s certainly a possibility that the single star shaped feature is an astrorhizae – but I’ve never only seen one have you? Usually it’s a whole mess across a surface, usually associated with monticules – but these are usuals, there are…[Read more]

    • @jbauer – Hi Jennifer. I’ve posted several photos of these strange things on my Flickr page which can be viewed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rynoceras/albums/72157662532368937
      You’ll see a mish-mash of several shots of different specimens which should give you more visual information than my single post here. I get out to Cannon Falls a…[Read more]

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