Stunning Ordovician Sea Floor Fossils Assemblage

with Machaeridian Armored Worms

Plumulites bengtsoni

Phylum Annelida, Order Turrilepadomorpha, Family Plumulitidae

Homalozoa indet. (Carpoid)

Phylum Echinodermata or Chordata (?)

Conularida indet

Phylum Cnidaria, Class Scyphozoa

Geological Time: Lower Ordovician

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Macaheridians: 40 mm by 16 mm and 37 mm by 14 mm Carpoids 17 mm and 15 mm across Conularids: 20 mm by 12 mm and 20 mm by 15 mm on a 160 mm by 110 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Fezouata Formation, El Kaid Errami, Morocco

Fossil Code: 12025

Price: Sold

Plumulites bengtsoniDescription: This is a fine example of an Ordovician Morooccan sea floor assemblage containing Machaeridians (armored worms), carpoids, and conularids. The Machaeridians are a little-known group of skeletal marine fossils that ranged in time from the Ordovician to the Permiian. Until recently the assignment as to phylum was controversial until the discovery of a Moroccan specimen with delicate preservation was made some 4 years ago which affirmed the assignment as armored annelid worms. Typically these are found as only dissociated parts. To my knowledge these are the first near Machaeridian Armored Wormcomplete examples ever offered. The ribbed specimens are conularids. Conulariids have been a subject of speculation for over a century and a half. They ranged from the Middle Ordovician to the Triassic. Exactly what they were is still not settled. Because of their four-fold symmetry, they have often been placed in the Cnidaria. However, their skeleton was very different from anything known in the Cnidaria, and they may represent a separate, extinct phylum. Finally, there are a couple of carpoids present. The carpoid body was supported by a skeleton of calcitic plates like those found in modern Echinoderms. Some believe that a carpoid may have been the common ancestor between Echinoderms and Vertebrates. It is important to note the carpoids differ from ALL other animals, living and extinct, in that many are completely asymmetrical. Here is an opportunity to have no less than three distinct enigmatic taxa in a single assemblage, a specimen which will command pride of place in any collection, private or institutional. When you consider that some have offered a single shell plate of a machaeridian for upwards of $200, this one is a bargain.

Reference: Nature, Vol 451, 10 Jan 2008, pp185 - 188.

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