Fossil Lab Handout What is a fossil? any remains, impression, or trace of a living thing such as a leaf, skeleton, or footprint, from a plant or animal which lived in an older geologic period that you can see in rocks What is an index fossil? a widely distributed fossil, of narrow range in time, regarded as characteristic of a given geological formation, used especially in determining the age of related formations. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/index+fossil for a fossil to be an index fossil it has to: have had wide geographic distribution so that it can be found in the rocks from many different regions and existed for a brief period so any rock layer containing that fossil can be linked to a specific geologic time. How are index fossils more useful than a non-index fossil? Index fossils are useful for dating rock layers. If you know the time period when an organism was alive, then any rock containing a fossil of that organism must have been deposited during that same time period. Index fossils are also useful for correlating rock layers from widely separated locations. For example if different rock layers from different regions contain the same index fossil then the layers must have been deposited during the same time period (Fig. 1). Figure 1. The rock columns are from different geographic regions. Fossils B and C are found in several layers indicating they existed over a very long period of time, thus fossils B and C do not meet the definition of an index fossil. Fossil D is found in only one layer but it is also in only one column, thus it lacks wide geographic distribution and therefore does not meet the requirements for being an index fossil. Fossil A is the best choice for being an index fossil. It is found in only one layer i.e. it existed for a brief time and it is found in all four columns; it has wide geographic distribution. http://regentsearth.com/ILLUSTRATED%20GLOSSARY/IndexFossil.htm   What is an index location? It is a region where index fossils are abundant. The Tri-state area, southwestern OH, northern KY and southeastern IN is the index location for Upper Ordovician fossils. How did this region become an index location? During the Late Ordovician period (Fig. 2) the paleogeography of the Midwest region of the US is believed to have been similar to Figs. 3 and 4. The landmass was located in the tropics approximately 7 degrees south of the equator (Fig. 5) and was created by a mountain building event, referred to as an orogeny, called the Taconic Orogeny. This event was the first of several that were involved in the formation of the Appalachian Mountains. Crust to the west of the subduction zone was being folded creating a series of basins (synclines) and arches (anticlines) (Figs. 3 and 4). Basins were shallow filled with clear warm waters, ideal conditions for the growth of reefs. Exoskeletons of the different organisms were preserved in the shales and limestones of the region. The Upper Ordovician rocks of this region (Fig. 6) are some of the most fossiliferous in the world, have excellent preservation, and have been studied for over 175 years. More than 1,200 species within approximately 470 genera are present in the rocks (Fig. 7). http://www.kspg.org/pdf/KSPG%20FT%2009%20Stop%201.pdf Figure 2. Geologic time scale. http://wps.pearsoncustom.com/pcp_80351_esm_tarbuck_earth_9/86/22073/5650798.cw/content/index. html   Figure 3. Shows the eastern portion of the United States during the Ordovician. Taken from Meyer and Davis, 2009. A Sea Without Fish. IU Press, Bloomington. Figure 4: Image showing the locations of the three main basins and arches that formed during the Teconic Orogeny. Figure from presentation for Indiana Geologic Survey 2012 by P. David Polly.   Figure 5. The proposed paleogeography of the Ordovician. Image from http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/%7Ercb7/450_Ord_3globes.jpg Figure 6. Stratigraphy in the region of the Upper Ordovician rocks. http://strata.uga.edu/cincy/strata/cdpRichmond.html   Figure 7. Seas of the Ordovician. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/ordovician/ordovician.php and www.quoram.co.uk   Types of Fossils in the Upper Ordovician Brachiopods Brachiopods first appeared in marine environments in the early Cambrian and still exist today. A modern brachiopod, Lingula, is believed to be related to a genera from the Ordovician. Brachiopods were most abundant during the Paleozoic. They reef-builders, have bilaterally symmetrical (each valve has a mirror-plane running through it) and feed on fine particles in the water (Figs. 8 and 9). (www.asoldasthehill.org/Brachiopods.html) Figure 8. Examples of some of the brachiopods found in this region. faculty.kfupm.edu.sa   a) b) www.ncfclub.org members.wolfram.com c) d) www.ncfclub.org fossilidentification.weebly.com e) f) louisvillefossils.blogspot.com www.fallsoftheohio.org Figure 9. Examples of Ordovician brachiopods. Bryozoan Bryozoans appeared in early Ordovician and all species colonize (Figs. 9 and 10). Like brachiopods, they feed on fine particles in the water and have by-lateral symmetrical. In addition these organisms tend to live between the low and high tide ranges. The hard parts are all that we see today in the local rocks because they colonize together making a shell of calcium carbonate. (fossilfactsandfinds.com)   Fenestrel/ina Sx Fistulipora Ix Fenestella Ix Prismopora lx Archimedes sp. Ix Stomatopora 1 8x Thamniscus 1 2x Penniretepora 4x Diploporaria 1 2x Rhombopora 4x Rhombopora Ix Stenopora Ix Constellaria Ix Figure 10. Examples of some of the bryozoans found in this region. http://www.isgs.uiuc.edul?q=outreach/geology-resources/bryozoans Leioclema 6x   Echinoderms Modern day echinoderms include starfish, sea urchins, sand dollars, sea cucumbers and sea lilies and are the largest phylum with no freshwater or terrestrial members. The most common fossil echinoderm in this region is crinoids (Fig. 11 D) but a much sought after fossil is the edrioasteroid (Fig. 11 C and Fig. 9f). Figure 11. Sketches of different types of echinoderms. http://museumvictoria.com.au/discoverycentre/infosheets/marine-fossils/echinoderms/ Crinoid Crinoids consist of three parts; a stem that is used to stick to the sea floor, a body, and “arms” that catch food from water flowing over the “arms” (Figs. 12 and 13). Crinoids are not common in the seas today but during the Paleozoic they were, especially in shallow marine environments. During the Permo-Triassic extinction they were nearly driven to extinction. Figure 11. Schematic of the main parts of a crinoid. http://tolweb.org/Crinoidea   Figure 12. Picture of a crinoid stem. ww.ucmp.berkeley.edu Horn coral Horn corals are important world-wide reef builders, having a hard skeleton composed of calcium carbonate. These organisms were abundant in the middle Ordovician to late Permian seas. They are characterized as simple organisms because of their radial symmetry and lack developed organs (Fig. 13). These fossils are easy to identify as they look like bugle snacks and have a wrinkled appearance on the outer shell (Fig. 14) Figure 13. Sketches of a horn coral. http://www.personal.kent.edu/~alisonjs/paleo/paleolab3cnidaria.htm and http://www.ocean.odu.edu/~spars001/geology_112/laboratory/session_08/solutions.html Figure 14. Image of a horn coral showing the “wrinkles” on the outer portion of the shell.   Molluska Molluska the large phylum of invertebrate animals and the largest marine phylum. All mollusks have a radula (toothy tongue), a mantle (thin layer of tissue covering organs and makes the shell) and a muscular foot. There are three main groups in molluska; cephalopoda, gastropoda, and bivalves (mulluska). Gastropods, cephalopods and bivalves appeared in the Cambrian. Each are described below. Cephalopod For cephalopods the muscular foot is divided into tentacles. They first appeared in the late Cambrian and reached their maximum diversity in the Ordovician. Cephalopods look like segmented modern day squids (Fig. 15). Figure 15. Image of an Ordovician cephalopod. galleryhip.com Gastropods Gastropods are the largest of the groups of molluska and includes, snails, conchs, abalones, whelks, sea slugs, and garden slugs. All organisms in this group have one shell except for slugs (http://mollusksscience.weebly.com). Gastropods first appeared in early Cambrian and were abundant throughout the Paleozoic. The most common fossilized gastropods in this region are snails (Fig. 16). Bivalves (Mollusks) Bivalves have bilateral symmetrical (the top valve is a mirror of the bottom valve), feed on fine particles in the water and live in marine environments Fig. 17. Modern looking bivalves first appeared in the Ordovician.   Figure 16. Schematics of Ordovician gastropods. http://faculty.kfupm.edu.sa/CHEM/thukair/paleontology/Phylum_Mollusca_(4).htm   Figure 17. Schematics of Ordovician molluscas. http://faculty.kfupm.edu.sa/CHEM/thukair/paleontology/Phylum_Mollusca_(2).htm   Trilobites Trilobites had a hard exterior shell composed of three body sections, thus the name trilobite, the cephalon (head section), thorax (middle section) and the pygidium (tail section) (Figs. 18 and 19). They were among the first organisms to have eyes and there was at least one type of trilobite from the Cambrian till the end of the Paleozoic, with the greatest degree of diversity occurring in the Cambrian. (fossil guy.com) Figure 18. Schematic of a trilobite. http://www.kgs.ku.edu/Extension/fossils/trilobite.html http://www.premdesign.com/flexi.jpg Figure 19. Images of Ordovician trilobites. http://www.uky.edu/OtherOrgs/KPS/images/flexigran1.jpg

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  Fossil Lab Handout What is a fossil? any remains, impression, or trace of a living thing such as a leaf, skeleton, or footprint, from a plant or animal which lived in an older geologic period that you can see in rocks What is an index fossil? a widely distributed fossil, of narrow range in time, regarded as characteristic of a given geological formation, used especially in determining the age of related formations. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/index+fossil for a fossil to be an index fossil it has to: have had wide geographic distribution so that it can be found in the rocks from many different regions and existed for a brief period so any rock layer containing that fossil can be linked to a specific geologic time. How are index fossils more useful than a non-index fossil? Index fossils are useful for dating rock layers. If you know the time period when an organism was alive, then any rock containing a fossil of that organism must have been deposited during that same time period. Index fossils are also useful for correlating rock layers from widely separated locations. For example if different rock layers from different regions contain the same index fossil then the layers must have been deposited during the same time period (Fig. 1). Figure 1. The rock columns are from different geographic regions. Fossils B and C are found in several layers indicating they existed over a very long period of time, thus fossils B and C do not meet the definition of an index fossil. Fossil D is found in only one layer but it is also in only one column, thus it lacks wide geographic distribution and therefore does not meet the requirements for being an index fossil. Fossil A is the best choice for being an index fossil. It is found in only one layer i.e. it existed for a brief time and it is found in all four columns; it has wide geographic distribution. http://regentsearth.com/ILLUSTRATED%20GLOSSARY/IndexFossil.htm   What is an index location? It is a region where index fossils are abundant. The Tri-state area, southwestern OH, northern KY and southeastern IN is the index location for Upper Ordovician fossils. How did this region become an index location? During the Late Ordovician period (Fig. 2) the paleogeography of the Midwest region of the US is believed to have been similar to Figs. 3 and 4. The landmass was located in the tropics approximately 7 degrees south of the equator (Fig. 5) and was created by a mountain building event, referred to as an orogeny, called the Taconic Orogeny. This event was the first of several that were involved in the formation of the Appalachian Mountains. Crust to the west of the subduction zone was being folded creating a series of basins (synclines) and arches (anticlines) (Figs. 3 and 4). Basins were shallow filled with clear warm waters, ideal conditions for the growth of reefs. Exoskeletons of the different organisms were preserved in the shales and limestones of the region. The Upper Ordovician rocks of this region (Fig. 6) are some of the most fossiliferous in the world, have excellent preservation, and have been studied for over 175 years. More than 1,200 species within approximately 470 genera are present in the rocks (Fig. 7). http://www.kspg.org/pdf/KSPG%20FT%2009%20Stop%201.pdf Figure 2. Geologic time scale. http://wps.pearsoncustom.com/pcp_80351_esm_tarbuck_earth_9/86/22073/5650798.cw/content/index. html   Figure 3. Shows the eastern portion of the United States during the Ordovician. Taken from Meyer and Davis, 2009. A Sea Without Fish. IU Press, Bloomington. Figure 4: Image showing the locations of the three main basins and arches that formed during the Teconic Orogeny. Figure from presentation for Indiana Geologic Survey 2012 by P. David Polly.   Figure 5. The proposed paleogeography of the Ordovician. Image from http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/%7Ercb7/450_Ord_3globes.jpg Figure 6. Stratigraphy in the region of the Upper Ordovician rocks. http://strata.uga.edu/cincy/strata/cdpRichmond.html   Figure 7. Seas of the Ordovician. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/ordovician/ordovician.php and www.quoram.co.uk   Types of Fossils in the Upper Ordovician Brachiopods Brachiopods first appeared in marine environments in the early Cambrian and still exist today. A modern brachiopod, Lingula, is believed to be related to a genera from the Ordovician. Brachiopods were most abundant during the Paleozoic. They reef-builders, have bilaterally symmetrical (each valve has a mirror-plane running through it) and feed on fine particles in the water (Figs. 8 and 9). (www.asoldasthehill.org/Brachiopods.html) Figure 8. Examples of some of the brachiopods found in this region. faculty.kfupm.edu.sa   a) b) www.ncfclub.org members.wolfram.com c) d) www.ncfclub.org fossilidentification.weebly.com e) f) louisvillefossils.blogspot.com www.fallsoftheohio.org Figure 9. Examples of Ordovician brachiopods. Bryozoan Bryozoans appeared in early Ordovician and all species colonize (Figs. 9 and 10). Like brachiopods, they feed on fine particles in the water and have by-lateral symmetrical. In addition these organisms tend to live between the low and high tide ranges. The hard parts are all that we see today in the local rocks because they colonize together making a shell of calcium carbonate. (fossilfactsandfinds.com)   Fenestrel/ina Sx Fistulipora Ix Fenestella Ix Prismopora lx Archimedes sp. Ix Stomatopora 1 8x Thamniscus 1 2x Penniretepora 4x Diploporaria 1 2x Rhombopora 4x Rhombopora Ix Stenopora Ix Constellaria Ix Figure 10. Examples of some of the bryozoans found in this region. http://www.isgs.uiuc.edul?q=outreach/geology-resources/bryozoans Leioclema 6x   Echinoderms Modern day echinoderms include starfish, sea urchins, sand dollars, sea cucumbers and sea lilies and are the largest phylum with no freshwater or terrestrial members. The most common fossil echinoderm in this region is crinoids (Fig. 11 D) but a much sought after fossil is the edrioasteroid (Fig. 11 C and Fig. 9f). Figure 11. Sketches of different types of echinoderms. http://museumvictoria.com.au/discoverycentre/infosheets/marine-fossils/echinoderms/ Crinoid Crinoids consist of three parts; a stem that is used to stick to the sea floor, a body, and “arms” that catch food from water flowing over the “arms” (Figs. 12 and 13). Crinoids are not common in the seas today but during the Paleozoic they were, especially in shallow marine environments. During the Permo-Triassic extinction they were nearly driven to extinction. Figure 11. Schematic of the main parts of a crinoid. http://tolweb.org/Crinoidea   Figure 12. Picture of a crinoid stem. ww.ucmp.berkeley.edu Horn coral Horn corals are important world-wide reef builders, having a hard skeleton composed of calcium carbonate. These organisms were abundant in the middle Ordovician to late Permian seas. They are characterized as simple organisms because of their radial symmetry and lack developed organs (Fig. 13). These fossils are easy to identify as they look like bugle snacks and have a wrinkled appearance on the outer shell (Fig. 14) Figure 13. Sketches of a horn coral. http://www.personal.kent.edu/~alisonjs/paleo/paleolab3cnidaria.htm and http://www.ocean.odu.edu/~spars001/geology_112/laboratory/session_08/solutions.html Figure 14. Image of a horn coral showing the “wrinkles” on the outer portion of the shell.   Molluska Molluska the large phylum of invertebrate animals and the largest marine phylum. All mollusks have a radula (toothy tongue), a mantle (thin layer of tissue covering organs and makes the shell) and a muscular foot. There are three main groups in molluska; cephalopoda, gastropoda, and bivalves (mulluska). Gastropods, cephalopods and bivalves appeared in the Cambrian. Each are described below. Cephalopod For cephalopods the muscular foot is divided into tentacles. They first appeared in the late Cambrian and reached their maximum diversity in the Ordovician. Cephalopods look like segmented modern day squids (Fig. 15). Figure 15. Image of an Ordovician cephalopod. galleryhip.com Gastropods Gastropods are the largest of the groups of molluska and includes, snails, conchs, abalones, whelks, sea slugs, and garden slugs. All organisms in this group have one shell except for slugs (http://mollusksscience.weebly.com). Gastropods first appeared in early Cambrian and were abundant throughout the Paleozoic. The most common fossilized gastropods in this region are snails (Fig. 16). Bivalves (Mollusks) Bivalves have bilateral symmetrical (the top valve is a mirror of the bottom valve), feed on fine particles in the water and live in marine environments Fig. 17. Modern looking bivalves first appeared in the Ordovician.   Figure 16. Schematics of Ordovician gastropods. http://faculty.kfupm.edu.sa/CHEM/thukair/paleontology/Phylum_Mollusca_(4).htm   Figure 17. Schematics of Ordovician molluscas. http://faculty.kfupm.edu.sa/CHEM/thukair/paleontology/Phylum_Mollusca_(2).htm   Trilobites Trilobites had a hard exterior shell composed of three body sections, thus the name trilobite, the cephalon (head section), thorax (middle section) and the pygidium (tail section) (Figs. 18 and 19). They were among the first organisms to have eyes and there was at least one type of trilobite from the Cambrian till the end of the Paleozoic, with the greatest degree of diversity occurring in the Cambrian. (fossil guy.com) Figure 18. Schematic of a trilobite. http://www.kgs.ku.edu/Extension/fossils/trilobite.html http://www.premdesign.com/flexi.jpg Figure 19. Images of Ordovician trilobites. http://www.uky.edu/OtherOrgs/KPS/images/flexigran1.jpg

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