Identify these fossils?
July 11, 2018 7:20 AM   Subscribe

A question from a friend who works in landscaping - "I took a series of photos few weeks ago at a customer's house of some landscape blocks that had fossils embedded in them. It looks to be some sort of bird or maybe a group of birds or something. But what intrigues me is these rocks were quarried about 10 miles south of Green Lake, Wisconsin, deep in the Earth. I would love to know what this creature is!" Here's the photo album Anyone know what he might be looking at here? Thanks!
posted by brozek to Science & Nature (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Not an expert, but to me it looks like part of a crinoid fossil. Crinoids are aquatic animals that look like plants, and they fossilize easily, so their fossils are fairly common. My aunt collects the individual hollow stem segments from stream beds and makes necklaces out of them.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:32 AM on July 11, 2018 [5 favorites]

Yep, I came in to posit crinoids too. The stems and arms seem pretty well-preserved, though the less defined bits could be trace fossils from burrowing creatures rather than crinoid arms. Having said that, it's really hard to ID fossils at distance, you could check in with a local natural history museum.
posted by freya_lamb at 7:48 AM on July 11, 2018

Those are definitely crinoid fossils - very good ones! What a lucky find. Crinoids predate birds by a long time. These happen in this part of the world because it used to be under an ocean.
posted by mai at 9:00 AM on July 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

The segmented thing across the top is indeed a crinoid stem. The branching things underneath are bryozoans.
posted by wps98 at 12:05 PM on July 11, 2018

« Older Damn, not eligible for Parent Plus student loan   |   What's the perfect device for reading and marking... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.