March 17, 2018 at 11:54 am #31433
Hi, @nathan-newell – There are a few online resources I suggest you check out but many of them are rock age dependent but should be able to help you narrow down your search.
- Ordovician Atlas has a brachiopod specific section that will take you through icons of the groups and hopefully help you visually identify the specimens but again the taxa are specific to the region but have similar species elsewhere.
- The Dry Dredgers have a fossil identification section for brachiopods and a page with helpful links for collectors but generally the same age material as the Ordovician Atlas.
- The Digital Atlas of Ancient Life encompasses the Ordovician Atlas but also has Pennsylvanian material as well for the midcontinent U.S region. This will give you some different groups and more images to hopefully help narrow your search!
- I usually start with 1-3 for getting group identifications and then move toward the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology – this is a series of volumes with all of the brachiopod genera with lots of images and diagrams. These books are incredibly detailed and if you can narrow down what you are looking for poking through the pages helps you get better IDs. I’m not sure if local libraries have copies but you may be able to chat with a librarian or head to a local university to see if they have access. Many geology departments will have hard copies, they may be the older version (brachiopods were revised not too long ago, so new volumes came out) but they are helpful regardless of volume. There are pdfs and hardcopies available for purchase but they are pricey.
- Sometimes it’s also often easier to ask a friend, post an image here on myFOSSIL, or in a facebook group – there are TONS of really active (lots of photos per day) fossil groups on facebook that have really sharp people (collectors and professionals) commenting.
Hope this is helpful!