Leperditia Okay, I promise I



Okay, I promise I won't bore you to death with these, but this is a particularly important one because it marks a watershed bad fieldtrip. I recall that we traveled over 250 miles in the course of this three-day fieldtrip and this was the largest, most interesting fossil in the lot. These little guys are ostracods, an animals somewhat similar to Daphnia which is an aquatic bivalved arthropod.

scale in cms--
Images from the Paleontological Research Institute

These are from New York, but the ones I saw were in West Virginia in approximately coeval rocks--the Salina member of the Tonoloway Formation. We inferred that the Salina member was from a highly saline depositional environment because these little ostracods often, as you see only an eighth to a quarter inch cm, were monstrously large at about half to a full cm. This often happens in modern saline stressed environments, either in brackish or in hypersaline waters, and is otherwise virtually unknown (it is not caused, for example, by sexual dimorphism).

However, 250 miles of travel for a lesson in stratigraphy and no fossils may have been the least profitable field trip I'd ever taken. After all, when we got there and surveyed the outcrop we at first thought someone had been by with a bag of lentils.

All that said, and all that in retrospect, I must say that the first time I ever saw these little ones, I was astounded at their number, their simplicity, and yes, frankly, their beauty. Even the little things of the Earth sing His praises and call us all to join them.

Praise Him!

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 20, 2002 5:45 PM.

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