Late Pennsylvanian Fossils In Kansas

One of the great places on the planet for fossils 307 to 299 million years old

 

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right: A brachiopod that has been assigned to the genus Neospirifer; it's from the upper Pennsylvanian Lecompton Limestone. Right--An Amphiscapha coiled marine gastropod from the upper Pennsylvanian Kanwaka Shale. Both specimens are from the Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage, Kansas--some 303 to 301 million years old.

I personally collected a lot of the fossil specimens figured at this web page several years ago during my former residence in Kansas. Unless otherwise specified, I collected and photographed the fossils included here.

Contents For--Late Pennsylvanian Fossils In Kansas:

Introduction

Traditional Kansas Column

Revised Kansas Column

Images: Kansas Fossils
       

 Images: Kansas Strata

Links: My Music Pages

Links: My Fossils Pages

 Email Address

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. Here is a quintessential Kansas encounter with a roadcut exposure of late Pennsylvanian rocks--where a seldom-traveled county road through the pastoral paradise of rural Kansas intersects the upper Pennsylvanian Winterset Limestone Member of the Dennis Limestone (Kansas City Group, Missourian Stage)--307 to 305 million years old.

Introduction

When a fossil enthusiast reflects on the numerous universally acknowledged classic invertebrate animal localities of Paleozoic Era geologic age (roughly 542 to 251 million years ago) exposed throughout the US, several special specific places naturally materialize in the mind's eye. For example, for early Cambrian paleontologic assemblages (trilobites, archaeocyathids, annelids, algae, salterella, brachiopods, hyoliths, and early echinoderms), the Great Basin and Mojave Deserts of western Nevada and eastern California hold a practically preeminent interest; for middle Cambrian trilobites, one is invariably drawn to the spectacular extinct arthropod occurrences in western Utah; for late Ordovician brachiopods, bryozoans, corals, and echinoderms probably no other district rivals southern Ohio; for Silurian Period paleontology, a visit to the upper Midwestern states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio is a definite necessity; for Devonian-age invertebrate material, the world-famous New York state outcrops remain the standard by which all geologically correlative fossiliferous strata in North America are compared; for Mississippian fossil abundance, Missouri, Illinois and Arkansas provide ample opportunities for satisfying fossil experiences; and for fantastically productive Permian paleontology, the west Texas outback remains perennially popular.

But for late Pennsylvanian invertebrate fossil associations--roughly 307 to 299 million years old--probably no other area of comparable geologic age rivals Kansas. True, that same vast- shallow upper Pennsylvanian sea that deposited its fossil wealth in Kansas also left sedimentary evidence over a considerable distance within Paleozoic territory presently assigned to the North American mid-continent, mainly from eastern New Mexico and north Texas, north to Indiana and Illinois (just in case folks are wondering, the world-famous Illinois Mazon Creek concretion localities are middle Pennsylvanian in geologic age, around 309 million years ancient)--not to mention significant Late Pennsylvanian deposits also available for inspection in a number of Northern Appalachian Basin and western US states (notably--Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Utah), where dedicated students of invertebrate animal life can certainly explore not a few surprisingly reliable producers of late Paleozoic fossil material--yet, nowhere is latest Pennsylvanian Period paleontology better exhibited than in Kansas.

Here is a fossil-finding paradise of rare perfection. Bountiful, beautifully preserved specimens from all major categories of invertebrate animals can be secured from late Pennsylvanian strata identified in Kansas. The list is definitively inclusive, and exciting to consider collecting: algae; annelids (represented by abundant minute scolecodonts, the jaws of polychaete worms); arthropods (famously--insects, horseshoe crabs, and sea spiders); brachiopods (myriads of species distributed among every major and most minor Pennsylvanian brachiopod genera); bryozoans (every conceivable kind present and accounted for--wildly branching digitate varieties, lattice-fenestrate types, and innumerable encrusting species); conodonts (minute tooth-like dentical structures, unrelated to modern jaws, that helped process food in an extinct lamprey eel-like organism); corals (solitary, so-called horn corals and colonial kinds very well-represented); echinoderms (crinoids--practically every individual skeletal constituent exquisitely preserved: stems, columnals, crown plates, spines, and dorsal cups among the numbered; starfish; and loads of superior echinoid spines and plates, too, revealing great morphological detail); fusulinids (an extinct single-celled animal that secreted a small wheat grain to American football-shaped shell; indeed, prolific associations of fusulinids occur in Kansas calcium carbonate accumulations); ichnofossils (trace fossils of tracks and trails made by invertebrate animals); mollusks (all major types wonderfully kept intact for approximately 300 million years: gastropods--showy coiled species, curious bellerophon snails, and many finely detailed high-spired types; pelecypods--clams of every possible example, from stunning large Myalina, Septimyalina and Orthomyalina genera to more diminutive varieties with intricately sculpted exterior valves; cephalopods--including orthoconic forms, nautiloids, and numerous ammonoids; and scaphopods--commonly called a "tusk shell"); ostracods (tiny crustaceans that frequently contribute prolific monotypic quantities of their spendidly preserved bivalved shells to limestone and shale layers); sponges (remarkable, well-preserved examples of the Phylum Porifera, with the enigmatic Chaetetes sponge abundantly represented, indeed); and trilobites (on their way out, geologically speaking; along with fully 90 percent of all life on Earth, trilobites would go extinct at the conclusion of the Permian Period, some 48 million years after providing their remains in the Kansas late Pennsylvanian sedimentary rocks).

The stratified sequence from which such an astounding abundance and diversity of late Pennsylvanian fossil forms derives is considered within earth science communities the world-over a genuinely classic association of cyclothemic (repetitive alternating between marine and non-marine coal-bearing facies) limestones, shales, and sandstones whose formalized stratigraphic nomenclature has been committed to fond memory by many a student of Kansas Paleozoic Era paleontology. Within North America, the late Pennsylvanian is officially divided into two great subdivisions: the Missourian Stage--which in Kansas is on average roughly 650 feet thick (early late Pennsylvanian--307 to 305 million years ago)--and the Virgilian Stage, approximately 1,200 feet thick (latest Pennsylvanian--305 to 299 million years ago) throughout its Kansas stratigraphic development.

A more precise resolution of relative geologic ages of Kansas late Pennsylvanian rocks is established by further dividing each stage into three major groups. That is to say, in ascending order of geologic time (oldest to youngest) the Missourian Stage gets additionally separated into three more categories: the Pleasanton Group (307-306.5 million years); the Kansas City Group (306.5 to 305.5 million years); and the youngest Lansing Group (305.5 to 305 million years). And the succeeding Virgilian Stage receives the following partitioning: the Douglas Group (305 to 303 million years); the Shawnee Group (303 to 301 million years); and the Wabaunsee Group (301 to 299 million years). Above the Wabaunsee occur rocks of Permian age, the final formally established geologic Period of the Paleozoic Era, which ended 251 million years ago. From the instant that strata assigned to the Wabaunsee Group stopped accumulating, 299 million years ago, 90 percent of life on Earth had 48 million years to continue to exist, before it ceased to exist.

The six late Pennsylvanian Groups that constitute the Missourian and Virgilian Stages contain numerous geologic rock formations, many separated once again by stratigraphers into distinct mappable subunits called "members," whose remarkably persistent carbonate and clastic lithologies can be traced for hundreds of miles across Kansas and contiguous Midwestern US states; indeed, not a few limestone intervals but a foot thick, or less, remain geologically obvious mappable intervals no matter where they outcrop in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Iowa--from extreme northernmost state localities, to their southern boundaries.

Within Kansas, those Missourian and Virgilian-age sedimentary accumulations of 307 to 299 million years ago reach their ultimate paleontologic deveolopment, providing an unprecedented supply of reliably abundant and diverse latest Pennsylvanian fossil resources: Extraordinarily well-preserved invertebrate animals from every major zoological division, fascinating algal developments (peculiar "biscuit" and nodular kinds, plus intricate stromatolitic varieties), beaucoup bony fish skeletal elements, and sensational shark teeth await discovery in many of the interbedded marine limestone and shale units, while commercial coal deposits and spectacular paleobotanical, paleoentomological, and terrestrial vertebrate fossil preservations (amphibians, reptile-like amphibians, reptiles and mammal-like reptiles) occur in non-marine detrital deposits observed in stratigraphic relationship with marine-originated phases of the late Pennsylvanian cyclothems.

Here is the complete list of traditionally recognized Stages, Groups, Formations, and Members used for rocks of late Pennsyvanian geologic age in Kansas:

Traditional Kansas Late Pennsylvanian Stratigraphy:

The Missourian Stage (307 to 305 million years ago) consists of the following Groups and subunits:

Pleasanton Group (307-306.5 million years), which includes the following subunits: Seminole Formation (Hepler Sandstone Member, South Mound Shale Member); Checkerboard Limestone; and the Tacket Formation.

Kansas City Group (306.5-305.5 million years), which includes the following subunits: Heartha Limestone (Critzer Limestone Member, Mound City Shale Member, Sniabar Limestone Member); Ladore Shale; Swope Limestone (Middle Creek Limestone Member, Hushpuckey Shale Member, Bethany Falls Limestone Member); Galesburg Shale (Dodds Sandstone Member); Dennis Limestone (Canville Limestone Member, Stark Shale Member, Winterset Limestone Member); Cherryvale Shale (Fontana Shale Member, Block Limestone Member, Wea Shale Member, Westerville Limestone Member, Quivira Shale Member); Drum Limestone (Dewey Limestone Member, Corbin City Limestone Member); Chanute Shale (Noxie Sandstone Member, Cottage Grove Sandstone Member); Iola Limestone (Paola Limestone Member, Muncie Creek Shale Member, Raytown Limestone Member); Lane Shale; Wyandotte Limestone (Frisbie Limestone Member, Quindaro Shale Member, Argentine Limestone Member, Island Creek Shale Member, Farley Limestone Member); and the Bonner Springs Shale.

Lansing Group (305.5-305 million years), which includes the following subunits: Plattsburg Limestone (Merriam Limestone Member, Hickory Creek Shale Member, Spring Hill Limestone Member); Villas Shale; and the Stanton Limestone (Captain Creek Limestone Member, Eudora Shale Member, Stoner Limestone, Rock Lake Shale Member, South Bend Limestone Member).

The Virgilian Stage (305 to 299 million years ago) consists of the following Groups and subunits:

Douglas Group (305-303 million years), which includes the following subunits: Stranger Formation (Weston Shale Member, Iatan Limestone Member, Tonganoxie Sandstone Member, Westphalia Limestone Member, Vinland Shale Member); and the Lawrence Formation (Haskell Limestone Member, Bobbins Shale Member, Ireland Sandstone Member, Amazonia Limestone Member).

Note: A recent revision places the beginning of the Virgilian Stage at the base of the Haskell Limestone in the Douglas Group--based on first appearance of a specific conodont species; that revision is here rejected in favor of the traditional placement of the Virgilian (beginning at the base of the Weston Shale Member of the Stranger Formation).

Shawnee Group (303-301 million years), which includes the following subunits: Oread Limestone (Toronto Limestone Member, Synderville Shale Member, Leavenworth Limestone Member, Heebner Shale Member, Plattsmouth Limestone Member, Huemader Shale Member, Plattsmouth Limestone Member, Kereford Limestone Member); Kanwaka Shale (Jackson Park Shale Member, Clay Creek Limestone Member, Stull Shale Member); Lecompton Limestone (Spring Branch Limestone Member, Doniphan Shale Member, Big Springs Limestone Member, Queen Hill Shale Member, Beil Limestone Member, King Hill Shale Member, Avoca Limestone Member); Tecumseh Shale; Deer Creek Limestone (Ozawkie Limestone Member, Oskaloosa Shale Member, Rock Bluff Limestone Member, Larsh and Burroak Shale Member, Ervine Creek Limestone Member); Calhoun Shale; and the Topeka Limestone (Hartford Limestone Member, Iowa Point Shale Member, Curzon Limestone Member, Jones Point Limestone Member, Sheldon Limestone Member, Turner Creek Shale Member, Du Bois Limestone Member, Holt Shale Member, Coal Creek Limestone Member).

Wabaunsee Group (301-299 million years), which includes the following subunits: Severy Shale; Howard Limestone (Bachelor Creek Limestone Member, Aarde Shale Member, Church Limestone Member, Winzeler Shale Member, Utopia Limestone Member); Scranton Shale (White Cloud Shale Member, Happy Hollow Limestone Member, Cedar Vale Shale Member, Rulo Limestone Member, Silver Lake Shale Member); Bern Limestone (Burlingame Limestone Member, Soldier Creek Shale Member, Wakarusa Limestone Member); Auburn Shale; Emporia Limestone (Reading Limestone Member, Harveyville Shale Member, Elmont Limestone Member); Willard Shale; Zeandale Limestone (Tarkio Limestone Member, Wamego Shale Member, Maple Hill Limestone Member); Pillsbury Shale; Stotler Limestone (Dover Limestone Member, Dry Shale Member, Grandhaven Limestone Member); Root Shale (Friedrich Shale Member, Jim Creek Limestone Member, French Creek Shale Member); and the Wood Siding Formation (Nebraska City Limestone Member, Plumb Shale Member, Grayhorse Limestone Member, Pony Creek Shale Member, Brownville Limestone Member).

Brief Editorial Comment

Note: A rather recent study that proposes placement of the Pennsylvanian-Permian border in rocks situated above the Brownville Limestone Member (latest Pennsylvnanian) and overlying Towle Shale Member of the Onaga Shale (lowermost Permian), based on conodont stratigraphy, is in my opinion completely unaccepatable and is here rejected. Similarly, the rather recent idea that the Admire Group and part of the Council Grove Group should now be placed in the late Pennsylvanian is also here rejected.

Still and all, I recognize the need to present both sides here. The most recent revision of Kansas late Pennsylvanian stratigraphy:

November 2013 Revision Of Late Pennsylvanian Stratigraphy

Images Of Late Pennsylvanian Fossils From Kansas

Note: Unless otherwise specified, I personally collected and photographed the fossil specimens figured at this web page. All fossils that I personally collected were photographed under direct, natural sunlight with a Nikon CoolPix 995 digital camera. Images then edited and processed through photoshop.

Brachiopods

Bryozoans

Coal

Conodonts
       

Corals

Echinoderms

Fusulinids

Horseshoe Crabs
       

Mollusks

Plants

Seaweed

Spider-Like Arachnid
       

Sponges

Trace Fossils

Trilobites

Vertebrates

Brachiopods

Click on the images for larger pictures

Click on the images for larger pictures. Right to left--Brachiopods that invertebrate paleontologists call scientifically, genus Neospirifer. Right--pedicle valves of the brachiopod Neochonetes. All from the upper Pennsylvanian Lecompton Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage, 303 to 301 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--brachiopods that invertebrate paleontologists assign to the genus Hustedia; right--more Hustedia brachiopods (showing exterior and interior views of pedicle valves). All specimens from the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage, 303 to 301 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--both sides of the same brachiopods that invertebrate paleontologists call scientifically, genus Composita. All from the upper Pennsylvanian Lecompton Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage, 303 to 301 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--brachiopod specimens that invertebrate paleontologists call genus Derbyia; right--brachiopods referred to the genus Dielasma. All specimens from the upper Pennsylvanian Lecompton Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage, 303 to 301 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--brachiopods that invertebrate paleontologists call scientifically, genus Phricodothyris; from the upper Pennsylvanian Deer Creek Limestone. Right--brachiopods of the genus Rhipidomella from the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone. All specimens from the Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage, 303 to 301 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Right to left Exterior (left) and interior (right) perspectives of the same brachiopods that invertebrate paleontologists assign to the genus Hystriculina. All specimens from the upper Pennsylvanian Lecompton Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage, 303 to 301 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Two views of the same two brachiopods referred to the genus Enteletes. Both specimens from the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage, 303 to 301 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Two additional views of the same two brachiopods, seen above, referred to the genus Enteletes. Both specimens from the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage, 303 to 301 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Reverse views of the same brachiopod specimens that invertebrate paleontologists call genus Antiaquatonia; from the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage, 303 to 301 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left--Brachiopods that invertebrate paleontologists call scientifically, genus Spiriferina; Right--brachiopds that are assigned to the genus Crurithyris. All specimens from the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage, 303 to 301 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Two different views of the same brachiopod, called scientifically Wellerella, from the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone. From the Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage, Kansas. 303 to 301 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Two additional views of the same brachiopod seen above, called scientifically Wellerella, from the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone. From the Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage, Kansas. 303 to 301 million years old.

    Click on the images for larger pictures. Both sides of the same brachiopod, genus Echinochonchus, from the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage, 303 to 301 million years old.

  Click on the images for larger pictures. Two views of the same brachiopod, genus Juresania, from the upper Pennsylvanian Lecompton Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage, 303 to 301 million years old.

  Click on the images for larger pictures. Two views of the same brachiopod specimens referred to by invertebrate paleontologists as genus Reticulatia; from the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage, 303 to 301 million years old.

    Click on the images for larger pictures. Two brachiopod specimens assigned by invertebrate paleontologists to the genus Meekella; from the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage, 303 to 301 million years old.

Bryozoans

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  Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--both sides of the same two bryozoan colonies from the upper Pennsylvanian Lecompton Limestone. Called scientifically, genus Tabulipora. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage, 303 to 301 million years old.

  Click on the images for larger pictures. All specimens are bryozoan colonies called scientifically, genus Fenestrellina. Left image--middle bryozoan colony is from the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone, Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage. 303 to 301 million years old; outside two specimens are from the upper Pennsylvanian Auburn Shale, Wabaunsee Group, Virgilian Stage--301 to 299 million years old. Right image--a Fenestrellina bryzoan colony from the upper Pennsylvananian Lecompton Limestone, Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old.

  Click on the images for larger pictures. All specimens are bryozoan colonies called scientifically, genus Rhombopora. Rhombopora bryozoans in left image are from the upper Pennsylvanian Lecompton Limestone, Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old. Specimens in right image are from the upper Pennsylvanian Auburn Shale, Wabaunsee Group, Virgilian Stage--301 to 299 million years old.

  Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--both encrusting bryozoan colonies called scientifically, genus Fistulopora from the upper Pennsylvanian Lecompton Limestone, Kansas; Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old. Left--Fistulopora bryozoans covering a pelecypod shell. Specimen at right a genuine three-for-one fossil specimen. It's a genus Neospirifer brachiopod whose brachial valve (facing camera) is practically engulfed by an encrusting Fistulopora bryozoan colony (those minute circular "perforations" are where each individual bryozoan animal lived); also, along the groove at the brachiopod's hingeline, just to the the left of the beak (left, that is, from the perspective of facing the camera) are three wheat grain to American football-shaped Triticites fusulind tests secreted by an extinct single-celled organism.

  Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--all specimens are bryozoan colonies from the upper Pennsylvanian Lecompton Limestone. Called scientifically, genus Tabulipora. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage, 303 to 301 million years old.

Coal

Click on the images for larger pictures

  Click on the images for larger pictures. Every fossil collection from the "Coal Measure" age--that is, from the Mississippian or Pennsylvanian Period--surely must include samples of coal--heat-altered and pressure-compacted fossil plant material. Here's my Kansas "Coal Measure" coal contribution: Left to right--Both sides of the same two chunks of coal From the upper Pennsylvanian Lawrence Formation. Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage--305 to 303 million years old.

Conodonts

Click on the images for larger pictures

Click on the images for larger pictures. Conodont specimens (greatly magnified) collected and photographed by an individual who goes by the cybername "PetrolPete." I edited and processed the images through photoshop. Left and right--both conodonts preserved on their respective matrixes from the upper Pennsylvanian Eudora Shale. Called scientifically, genus Gondollela. Lansing Group, Missourian Stage, 305.5 to 305 million years old.

The actual conodont animal was a soft-bodied lamprey eel-like organism with an elongated body; associated with the extraordinarily rare, complete fossil specimens are imprints of chevron-shaped muscles--along with a trace of the notochord (non-calicified primitive spine), large paired eyes, plus a caudal fin strengthened by radials. The calcium phosphate jaw to tooth-like conodont structures (called denticles by conodont specialists) lie in the head region, perhaps at the entrance of the pharynx. Presumably they represent a unique feeding apparatus unrelated to modern jaws and teeth.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Conodont specimens (greatly magnified) collected and photographed by an individual who goes by the cybername "PetrolPete." I edited and processed the images through photoshop. Left and right--both conodonts preserved on their respective matrixes from the upper Pennsylvanian Eudora Shale. Called scientifically, genus Gondollela. Lansing Group, Missourian Stage, 305.5 to 305 million years old.

The actual conodont animal was a soft-bodied lamprey eel-like organism with an elongated body; associated with the extraordinarily rare, complete fossil specimens are imprints of chevron-shaped muscles--along with a trace of the notochord (non-calicified primitive spine), large paired eyes, plus a caudal fin strengthened by radials. The calcium phosphate jaw to tooth-like conodont structures (called denticles by conodont specialists) lie in the head region, perhaps at the entrance of the pharynx. Presumably they represent a unique feeding apparatus unrelated to modern jaws and teeth.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Conodont from the upper Pennsylvanian Iola Formation, Kansas City Group, Missourian Stage--306.5 to 305.5 million years old. Called scientifically, genus Idiognathodus sp. Right--Conodont from the upper Pennsylvanian Cherryvale Shale, Missourian Stage--306.5 to 305.5 million years old. Greatly magnified. Called scienfifically, Streptognathodus corrugatus. Images courtesy a specific scientific publication.

The actual conodont animal was a soft-bodied lamprey eel-like organism with an elongated body; associated with the extraordinarily rare, complete fossil specimens are imprints of chevron-shaped muscles--along with a trace of the notochord (non-calicified primitive spine), large paired eyes, plus a caudal fin strengthened by radials. The calcium phosphate jaw to tooth-like conodont structures (called denticles by conodont specialists) lie in the head region, perhaps at the entrance of the pharynx. Presumably they represent a unique feeding apparatus unrelated to modern jaws and teeth.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--Conodont from the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone, Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old. Greatly magnified. Called scientifically, Idiognathodus simulator. Right--Conodont from the upper Pennsylvanian Wakarusa Limestone, Wabaunsee Group, Virgilian Stage--301 to 299 million years old. Greatly magnified. Called scienfifically, Streptognathodus virgilicus. Images courtesy a specific scientific publication.

The actual conodont animal was a soft-bodied lamprey eel-like organism with an elongated body; associated with the extraordinarily rare, complete fossil specimens are imprints of chevron-shaped muscles--along with a trace of the notochord (non-calicified primitive spine), large paired eyes, plus a caudal fin strengthened by radials. The calcium phosphate jaw to tooth-like conodont structures (called denticles by conodont specialists) lie in the head region, perhaps at the entrance of the pharynx. Presumably they represent a unique feeding apparatus unrelated to modern jaws and teeth.

 

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--Conodont from the upper Pennsylvanian Plattsmouth Limestone, Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old. Greatly magnified. Called scientifically, Lonchodina douglasensis. Right--Conodont from the upper Pennsylvanian Plattsmouth Limestone, Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old. Greatly magnified. Called scientifically, Hindeodus sp.. Images courtesy a specific scientific publication.

The actual conodont animal was a soft-bodied lamprey eel-like organism with an elongated body; associated with the extraordinarily rare, complete fossil specimens are imprints of chevron-shaped muscles--along with a trace of the notochord (non-calicified primitive spine), large paired eyes, plus a caudal fin strengthened by radials. The calcium phosphate jaw to tooth-like conodont structures (called denticles by conodont specialists) lie in the head region, perhaps at the entrance of the pharynx. Presumably they represent a unique feeding apparatus unrelated to modern jaws and teeth.

 

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--Conodont from the upper Pennsylvanian Spring Brach Limestone, Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old. Greatly magnified. Called scientifically, Streptognathodus wahaunsensis. Right--Conodont from the upper Pennsylvanian Queen Hill Shale, Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old. Greatly magnified. Images courtesy a specific scientific publication.

The actual conodont animal was a soft-bodied lamprey eel-like organism with an elongated body; associated with the extraordinarily rare, complete fossil specimens are imprints of chevron-shaped muscles--along with a trace of the notochord (non-calicified primitive spine), large paired eyes, plus a caudal fin strengthened by radials. The calcium phosphate jaw to tooth-like conodont structures (called denticles by conodont specialists) lie in the head region, perhaps at the entrance of the pharynx. Presumably they represent a unique feeding apparatus unrelated to modern jaws and teeth.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Three conodonts from the upper Pennsylvanian Plattsmouth Limestone, Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old. Greatly magnified. Called scientifically, Ellisonia teicherti. Greatly magnified. Images courtesy a specific scientific publication.

The actual conodont animal was a soft-bodied lamprey eel-like organism with an elongated body; associated with the extraordinarily rare, complete fossil specimens are imprints of chevron-shaped muscles--along with a trace of the notochord (non-calicified primitive spine), large paired eyes, plus a caudal fin strengthened by radials. The calcium phosphate jaw to tooth-like conodont structures (called denticles by conodont specialists) lie in the head region, perhaps at the entrance of the pharynx. Presumably they represent a unique feeding apparatus unrelated to modern jaws and teeth.

Corals

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  Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--all specimens are corals assigned by invertebrate paleontologists to the genus Pseudozaphrentoides. All the corals are from the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old.

  Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--Lophophyllidid, solitary rugose corals assigned by invertebrate paleontologists to the genus Dibunophyllum; from the upper Pennsylvanian Lawrence Formation, Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage--305 to 303 million years old. Right--a Lophamplexus coral from the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old.

  Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--Corals assigned by invertebrate paleontologists to the genus Lophophyllidium; from the upper Pennsylvanian South Bend Limestone. Right--Corals called scientifically genus Lophophyllidium from the upper Pennsylvanian Plattsburg Limestone. Corals in both images come from the Lansing Group of the Missourian Stage--305.5 to 305 million years old, collected and photographed by an individual who goes by the cybername of "Missourian."

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--Corals assigned by invertebrate paleontologists to the genus Caninia; collected and photographed by an individual who goes by the cybername Missourian. Right--Colonial tabulate corals called scientifically genus Syringopora; collected and photographed by an individual who goes by the cybername Bullsnake. Coral specimens in both images came from the upper Pennsylvanian Beil Limestone of the Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old.

Echinoderms

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  Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--all specimens are crinoid stems--species indeterminate--from the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old.

  Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--Both sides of the same six crinoid dorsal cups. All--except specimens in top row-far left (Bathronocrinus) and middle (presently indeterminate)--are assignable to Delocrinus. From the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old.

 

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left photograph--Top row: individual crinoid columnals. Middle row--first two are crinoid sac spines; last three are crinoid primabrachial arms. Bottom row--Crinoid crown plates. From the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old.

Right image--Secondary spines from an echinoid called Archaeocidaris; from the upper Pennsylvanian Lecompton Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Both sides of the same four infrabasal cones of the extinct crinoid called scientifically, Paragassizocrinus sp--an unusual variety of stemless crinoid. The infrabasal cones were situated at the very base of the crinoid calyx ("head" region at top of the crinoid ) and served to anchor the echinoderm to the sea floor. They're from the upper Pennsylvanian South Bend Limestone of the Lansing Group, Missourian Stage. Photos courtesy an individual who goes by the cyber-name Bullsnake.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--Infrabasal cones of the extinct crinoid called scientifically, Paragassizocrinus sp--an unusual variety of stemless crinoid. The infrabasal cones were situated at the very base of the crinoid calyx ("head" region at top of the crinoid ) and served to anchor the echinoderm to the sea floor. They're from the upper Pennsylvanian South Bend Limestone of the Lansing Group, Missourian Stage. Photo courtesy an individual who goes by the cyber-name Missourian.

Right--A closeup of the upper surface of a Paragassizocrinus sp. infrabasal cone. They're from the upper Pennsylvanian South Bend Limestone of the Lansing Group, Missourian Stage. Photo courtesy an individual who goes by the cyber-name Missourian.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Three brittle star resting borrows; called scientifically, Asteriacites. Stem-like object at left side of photograph at right is a bryozoan colony. All specimens from the upper Pennsylvanian Kanwaka Shale. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old.

Photograph at left courtesy Jim Saueressig II @ 2008 of KansasHorizons.com. Image at right courtesy James St. John.

Fusulinids

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  Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--Fusulinids (an extinct single-celled animal that secreted roughly wheat grain to American football-shaped shells) that invertebrate paleontologists call genus Triticites; from the upper Pennsylvanian Lecompton Limestone, Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years ago. Right--fusulinids of the genus Kansanella from the upper Pennsylvanian Lawrence Formation, Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage--305 to 303 million years ago.

  Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Fusulinids (an extinct single-celled animal that secreted roughly wheat grain to American football-shaped shells) preserved in their matrix; genus Triticites. From the upper Pennsylvanian Kanwaka Shale, Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years ago.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--Fusulinids (an extinct single-celled animal that secreted roughly wheat grain to American football-shaped shells) that invertebrate paleontologists have assigned to the genus Kansanella; from the upper Pennsylvanian Island Creek Shale. Right: Fusulinids assigned to the genera Kansanella, preserved in their natural matrix, from the upper Pennsylvanian Iola Limestone. All specimens in both images from the Kansas City Group, Missourian Stage--306.5 to 305.5 million years ago. Fusulinds at left collected and photographed by an individual who goes by the cybername "Missourian"; fossils at right collected and photographed by James St. John.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--Fusulinids (an extinct single-celled animal that secreted roughly wheat grain to American football-shaped shells) in a polished cross-section of limestone; assigned to the genus Triticites from the upper Pennsylvanian Beil Limestone. Spiral specimen at lower right is a cross-section of a cephalopd. Right--Fusulinids assigned to the genera Triticites, preserved in their natural matrix, from the upper Pennsylvanian Beil Limestone. All specimens in both images from the Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old. Specimens collected and photographed by an individual who goes by the cyber-name Missourian. I edited and processed the images through photoshop.

Horseshoe Crabs

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Horseshoe crabs from the Wood Siding Formation, Wabaunsee Group of the Virgilian Stage--301 to 299 million years ago. Called scientifically Paleolimulus signatus. Photographs courtesy a specific scientific publication.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Part and counterpart of the same Horseshoe crab from the Lawrence Formation, Douglas Group of the Virgilian Stage--305 to 303 million years ago. Called scientifically Euroopsdanae sp. Photographs courtesy a specific scientific publication.

Mollusks

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  Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Coiled marine gastropods that invertebrate paleontologists assign to genus Amphiscapha. From the upper Pennsylvanian Kanwaka Shale, Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right: Left--Bellerophon snails; all called genus Bellerophon by invertebrate paleontologists. Right--A second variety of Bellerophon snail, referred to as genus Pharkidonotus. All from the upper Pennsylvanian Kanwaka Shale, Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Two views of the same gastropod called scientifically, genus Anematina by invertebrate paleontologists. From the upper Pennsylvanian Kereford Limestone, Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--A gastropod invertebrate paleontologists call scientifically, Ananias welleri; from the Stanton Limestone, Lansing Group, Missourian Stage--305.5 to 305 million years old. Right--A gastropod that invertebrate paleontologists have assigned to the genus-species, Hypselentoma perhumerosa; from the upper Pennsylvanian Vilas Shale, Lansing Group of the Missourian Stage--305.5 to 305 million years old. Both specimens courtesy the web page: Pennsylvanian Atlas of Ancient Life Midcontinent United States.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--High-spired gastropods: Far left and middle are genus Donaldina; specimen at far right is genus Hyphantozyga. From the upper Pennsylvanian Kanwaka Shale, Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old.

Right--Scaphopods (commonly called a tusk shell), genus Paleodentalium, from the upper Pennsylvanian Hickory Creek Shale--Lansing Group, Missourian Stage, 305.5 to 305 million years old. Specimens collected and photographed by an individual who goes by the cyber-name JeepDigger. I edited and processed the image through photoshop.

  Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right: Both sides of the same three pelecypods. Left image--the two specimens at left are genus Orthomyalina; pelecypod at right is genus Septimyalina. Right image--Reverse sides of the three pelecypods seen at left: Specimen at left is the genus Septimyalina; the two at right are genus Orthomyalina. All from the upper Pennsylvanian Kanwaka Shale, Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old.

  Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right: Left photograph--Two pelecypods assigned to the genus Septimyalina. Right image--Pelecypods that invertebrate paleontologists assign to the genus Clinopistha. All from the upper Pennsylvanian Kanwaka Shale, Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right: Left photograph--A pelecypod, resting atop its natural matrix, assigned to the genus-species Fasciculiconcha providecensis. Right image--A pelecypod, resting atop its natural matrix, that invertebrate paleontologists assign to the genus-species Aviculopecten occidentalis. Both from the upper Pennsylvanian Cherryvale Shale, Kansas City Group, Missourian Stage--306.5 to 305.5 million years old. Both specimens courtesy the web page: Pennsylvanian Atlas of Ancient Life Midcontinent United States.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--Two cephalopod specimens, called scientifically genus Bactrites. From the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old. Right--An orthocone nautiloid cephalopd from the upper Pennsylvanian Liberty Hill Shale (as of 2014, reinstated as a formation in Kansas from its typical occurrences in neighboring Missouri); Kansas City Group, Missourian Stage--307 to 305 million years old. Image courtesy an individual who goes by the cyber-name Missourian.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--Two different views of the same nautiloid cephalopod, called scientifically genus Metacoceras from the upper Pennsylvanian Drum Limestone; Kansas City Group, Missourian Stage--306.5 to 305.5 million years ago. Right-- A nautiloid cephalopod called scientifically, Domatoceras umbilicatum; from the upper Pennsylvanian Drum Limestone, Kansas City Group of the Missourian Stage--306.5 to 305.5 million years old. Both specimens courtesy the web page: Pennsylvanian Atlas of Ancient Life Midcontinent United States.

Plants

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  Click on the images for larger pictures. Both specimens collected and photographed by an individual who goes by the cybername "Missourian"; I edited and processed the images through photoshop. Left and right--Ferns called scientifically Alethopteris from the upper Pennsylvanian Tonganoxie Sandstone. Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage--305 to 303 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Both specimens collected and photographed by an individual who goes by the cybername "Missourian"; I edited and processed the images through photoshop. Left to right--Fern called scientifically Mariopteris; right--fern called scienfically Neuropteris; both from the upper Pennsylvanian Tonganoxie Sandstone. Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage--305 to 303 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Both specimens collected and photographed by an individual who goes by the cybername "Missourian"; I edited and processed the images through photoshop. Left and right--Ferns from the upper Pennsylvanian Tonganoxie Sandstone. Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage--305 to 303 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Three dimensionally preserved horsetail called scientifically, Calamites cisti; photograph is from a specific web page. Right--A fern called scientifically, Alethoperis grandini; photographed by Michael P. Klimetz. I edited and processed both images through photoshop. Both specimens are from the upper Pennsylvanian Tonganoxie Sandstone. Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage--305 to 303 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--A spore case of an extinct variety of fern called scientifically, Dolerotheca; photograph courtesy an individual who goes by the cyber-name Missourian. Right--Seeds from an extinct type of fern; photograph courtesy and individual who goes by the cyber-name Missourian. Both specimens are from the upper Pennsylvanian Tonganoxie Sandstone. Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage--305 to 303 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right-- A stem with preserved bark of the extinct lycopod (giant club moss) Asolanus; photograph courtesy an individual who goes by the cyber-name Missourian. From the upper Pennsylvanian Tonganoxie Sandstone. Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage--305 to 303 million years old. Right--Leaf scars of the extinct lycopod (giant club moss) Bothrodendron; photograph courtesy an individual who goes by the cyber-name Missourian. From the upper Pennsylvanian Tonganoxie Sandstone. Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage--305 to 303 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--Seed from an extinct gymnosperm (conifer-like) called Rhabdocarpus; photograph courtesy an individual who goes by the cyber-name Missourian. From the upper Pennsylvanian Tonganoxie Sandstone. Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage--305 to 303 million years old.Right--Leaf scars of the extinct lycopod (giant club moss) Bothrodendron; photograph courtesy an individual who goes by the cyber-name Missourian. From the upper Pennsylvanian Tonganoxie Sandstone. Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage--305 to 303 million years old.

Seaweed

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Specimens of an extinct seaweed--a variety of green algae--from the upper Pennsylvanian Lawrence Formation of the Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage--305 to 303 million years old. Called scientifically, Perissothallus versiformis. Photographs courtesy a specific scientific publication.

Spider-Like Arachnid

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Part and counterpart of the same extinct spider-like arachnid--technically termed a Trigonotarbida arachnid (sort of a primitive spider that did not spin a web)--from the upper Pennsylvanian Lawrence Formation of the Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage--305 to 303 million years old. Called scientifically, Anthracomartus sp. Photographs courtesy a specific scientific publication.

Sponges

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  Click on the images for larger pictures. Left--A sponge called scientifically, Heliospongia; demonstrates its distinctive, bulbous "mushroom" aspect of morphology. Right photograph--A classic genus Chaetetes sponge "biscuit" still embedded in its limestone matrix. Both from the upper Pennsylvanian Deer Creek Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years old.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--Sponges called scientifically, genus Amblysiphonella; from the upper Pennsylvanian Frisbie Limestone, Kansas City Group of the Missourian Stage--306.5 to 305.5 million years old. Right photograph: Sponges called scientifically, genus Girtyocoelia from the upper Pennsylvanian Hickory Creek Shale, Lansing Group of the Missourian Stage--305.5 to 305 million years old. All the specimens in the two images were collected and photographed by an individual who goes by the cybername of "Missourian."

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Clumps of sponges that invertebrate paleontologists call scientifically, genus Heliospongia; from the upper Pennsylvanian Quindaro Shale, Kansas City Group of the Missourian Stage--306.5 to 305.5 million years old. Both specimens collected and photographed by an individual who goes by the cybername "Missourian."

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--Sponges that invertebrate paleontologists call scientifically, genus Fissispongia; from the upper Pennsylvanian Quindaro Shale, Kansas City Group of the Missourian Stage--306.5 to 305.5 million years old. Right--Sponges called scientifically Maeandrostia from the upper Pennsylvanian Quindaro Shale, Kansas City Group of the Missourian Stage. Specimens collected and photographed by an individual who goes by the cybername "Missourian."

Trace Fossils

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Trace fossils (technically termed ichnofossils) from the upper Pennsylvanian Kanwaka Shale, Shawnee Group of the Virgilian Stage--303 to 301 million years ago. Called scientifically, Nereites imbricata. Although the creature that created the trails has never been definitively identified, ichnofossil specialists presume that the trails represent feeding patterns left by an annelid (worm). Photographs courtesy a specific scientific publication.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--Trace fossils (technically termed ichnofossils) from the upper Pennsylvanian Rock Lake Shale, Lansing Group of the Missourian Stage--305.5 to 305 million years ago. Called scientifically, Lingulichnus sp. Although the creature that created the trails has never been definitively identified, ichnofossil specialists speculate that the trails represent activity by Lingulid brachiopods. Photograph courtesy a specific scientific publication.

Right--Trace fossils (technically termed ichnofossils) from the Ireland Sandstone, Douglas Group of the Missourian Stage--305 to 303 million years old. Called scientifically, Psammechnites plummeri. Possibly created by sea urchins. Photograph courtesy a specific scientific publication.

Trilobites

Note: All trilobite specimens figured here were collected and photographed by an individual who goes by the cybername "Missourian." I edited and processed the images through photoshop.

Click on the images for larger pictures

  Click on the images for larger pictures. All trilobite specimens collected and photographed by an individual who goes by the name "Missourian"; I edited and processed the images through photoshop. Left and right--Different perspectives of the same three trilobites, preserved in a classic enrolled orientation. Called scientifically, Ameura missouriensis. The largest (upper right) is from the Westerville Limestone; the other two came from the Winterset Limestone. All three trilobites are from the upper Pennsylvanian Kansas City Group, Missourian Stage--307 to 305 million years old.

Vertebrates

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Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Two complete specimens of the extinct spiny shark called scientifically, Acanthodes bridgei; head is at lower left in specimen at left--head at upper right in the fossil at right. Both fossils reveal remarkable preservational aspects--the specimen at left, for example, has the rods and cones preserved intact in its eyes--demonstrating that in actual life Acanthodes bridgei could see in full color. Both came from the upper Pennsylvanian Calhoun Shale, Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage. Photograph at left courtesy a technical scientific paper; image at right is from a specific web page.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Shark teeth from an extinct Symmorid shark called scientifically, Symmorium sp.; both from the upper Pennsylvanian Raytown Limestone. Kansas City Group of the Missourian Stage. Images courtesy a specific web page.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--Shark tooth from an extinct shark called scientifically, Petalodus; right--tooth from the extinct shark Campodus. both from the upper Pennsylvanian Raytown Limestone. Kansas City Group of the Missourian Stage. Specimens collected and photographed by an individual who goes by the cybername "Missourian." I edited and processed the images through photoshop.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--Shark tooth from an extinct shark called scientifically, Campodus; from the upper Pennsylvanian Hickory Creek Shale of the Lansing Group, Missourian Stage. Right--teeth from the extinct shark Peripristis from the upper Pennsylvanian Raytown Limestone of the Kansas City Group, Missourian Stage. Specimens collected and photographed by an individual who goes by the cybername "Missourian." I edited and processed the images through photoshop.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Two images of the same tooth from an extinct shark called scientifically, Orodus; from the upper Pennsylvanian Wyandotte Limestone of the Kansas City Group, Missourian Stage. Specimen collected and photographed by an individual who goes by the cybername "Missourian." I edited and processed the images through photoshop.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--Tooth from an extinct Bradydont shark called scientifically, Sandolodus; right--tooth from the extinct Bradydont shark Deltodus. Both from the upper Pennsylvanian Raytown Limestone. Kansas City Group of the Missourian Stage. Photographs courtesy a specific web page. I edited and processed the images through photoshop.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Teeth of an extinct fresh-water shark from a family of sharks known as xenacanths. Called scientifically, genus Orthacanthus. Scale is in millimeters. Both from the upper Pennsylvanian Snyderville Shale. Shawnee Group of the Virgilian Stage. Photographs courtesy a specific scientific, technical paper.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Tooth plates of an extinct, prehistoric lobe-finned fish called scientifically, Sagenodus serratus; left is a lower plate--right, an upper tooth plate. Scale is in millimeters. Both from the upper Pennsylvanian Snyderville Shale. Shawnee Group of the Virgilian Stage. Photographs courtesy a specific scientific, technical paper.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Vertebral centra (parts of the spinal column) from an ebolomere-an extinct reptile-like amphibian. Scale is in millimeters. All from the upper Pennsylvanian Snyderville Shale. Shawnee Group of the Virgilian Stage. Photographs courtesy a specific scientific, technical paper.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Vertebrae from an extinct variety of reptile. Scale is in millimeters. All from the upper Pennsylvanian Snyderville Shale. Shawnee Group of the Virgilian Stage. Photographs courtesy a specific scientific, technical paper.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left and right--Terminal phalanges (ends of bones in the foot) from a claw-bearing Synapsid--an extinct mammal-like reptile. Scale is in millimeters. All from the upper Pennsylvanian Snyderville Shale. Shawnee Group of the Virgilian Stage. Photographs courtesy a specific scientific, technical paper.

Click on the images for larger pictures. Left to right--Shark teeth and scale from the upper Pennsylvanian Lawrence Formation of the Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage. Called scientifically, Cladodus and Orthacanthus latus. Photograph courtesy a specific scientific paper.

Right--Bony fish remains from the upper Pennsylvanian Lawrence Shale (Douglas Group) and Calhoun Shale (Shawnee Group) of the Virgilian Stage. Called scientifically: Paleoniscoidea; Rhabdoderma; and Sagenodus. Photograph courtesy a specific scientific paper.

Images Of Late Pennsylvanian Strata In Kansas

  Missourian Stage (307-305 million years) Virgilian Stage (305-299 million years)
     
  Pleasanton Group (307-306.5 million years) Douglas Group (305-303 million years) 
     
  Kansas City Group (306.5-305.5 million years) Shawnee Group (303-301 million years)
     
  Lansing Group (305.5-305 million years) Wabaunsee Group (301-299 million years)

Missourian Stage (307-305 million years)

Pleasanton Group (307-306.5 million years)

Kansas City Group (306.5-305.5 million years)

Lansing Group (305.5-305 million years)

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. This is a view due north along the Missouri River, which here separates the states of Kansas (left bank) and Missouri (right bank). Although, admittedly, earth scientists named the North American Missourian Stage of the latest Pennsylvanian Period (roughly 307 to 305 million years old) for representative strata exposed in northwestern Missouri, the best Missourian Stage geologic sections lie in the general vicinity of the Missouri River within Kansas. Of the 51 major stratigraphic subdivisions of the Missourian Stage--comprised of the Pleasanton, Kansas City, and Lansing Groups (oldest to youngest)--geologists named 36 for localities in Kansas (only ten for places in Missouri; three in Nebraska, and two in Iowa).

Pleasanton Group (307-306.5 million years)

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Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth Street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. Here's the exact point in geologic time in Kansas where the latest Pennsylavanian rocks begin to accumulate. This is earliest late Pennsylvanian--about 307 million years old; technically speaking, it's the Hepler Sandstone Member of the Seminole Formation, Pleasanton Group, Missourian Stage.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes limestones in the upper Pennsylvanian Tacket Formation. Pleasanton Group, Missourian Stage.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes siltstones and sandstones of the upper Pennsylvanian Tacket Formation. Pleasanton Group, Missourian Stage.

Kansas City Group (306.5-305.5 million years)

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Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes strata belonging to the late Pennsylvanian Cherryvale Formation (Kansas City Group, Missourian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes sedimentary material assigned to the upper Pennsylvanian Cottage Grove Sandstone Member of the Chanute Formation (Kansas City Group, Missourian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes sedimentary material assigned to the upper Pennsylvanian Dennis Limestone (Kansas City Group, Missourian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes two geologic rock formations belonging to the late Pennsylvanian Kansas City Group (Missourian Stage): Recessive Galesburg Shale capped by the brownish, more resistant Nellie Bly Formation.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A different view of the same roadcut in Kansas, above, that exposes two geologic rock formations belonging to the late Pennsylvanian Kansas City Group (Missourian Stage): Recessive Galesburg Shale capped by the brownish, more resistant Nellie Bly Formation.

Click on the image for a larger view. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes an essentially complete section of the upper Pennsylvanian Iola Limestone (Kansas City Group, Missourian Stage): Narrow ledge at base is the Paola Limestone Member; Recessive, mostly grass and tree-covered slope directly above is the Muncie Creek Shale Member; and the thick sequence at top is the Raytown Limestone Member.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes sedimentary strata belonging to the upper Pennsylvanian Nellie Bly Formation (Kansas City Group, Missourian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes sedimentary strata belonging to the Wyandotte Limestone. (Kansas City Group, Missourian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes sedimentary strata belonging to the Argentine Limestone Member of the Wyandotte Limestone. (Kansas City Group, Missourian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes sedimentary strata belonging to the Bonner Springs Shale, which lies at the top of the Kansas City Group, Missourian Stage, just belong the Lansing Group (also Missourian Stage).

Lansing Group (305.5-305 million years)

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Click on image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the Merrian Limestone Member of the Plattsburg Limestone, which lies at the base (oldest portion) of the Lansing Group, Missourian Stage, just above the Kansas City Group (also Missourian Stage).

Click on image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the all three members of the upper Pennsylvanian Plattsburg Limestone. Lowermost ledge--at road level--is the Merriam Limestone Member; blackish to grayish recessive interval above is the Hickory Creek Shale Member; uppermost brownish ledge at top of hill is the Spring Hill Limestone Member. Lansing Group, Missourian Stage.

Click on image for a larger pictures. A Google Earth street car perspectives that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the base of the late Pennsylvanian Lansing Group (Missourian Stage) in Kansas--the Plattsburg Limestone.

Click on image for a larger pictures. A Google Earth street car perspectives that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the base of the late Pennsylvanian Lansing Group (Missourian Stage) in Kansas--the Plattsburg Limestone.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes an excellent section of the late Pennsylvanian Lansing Group (Missourian Stage). Strata from base of cut to first brownish limestone ledge belong to the Vilas Shale; the two limestone ledges above the Vilas, to the top of the roadcut, lie within the Stanton Limestone.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A different view of the same roadcut, above, in Kansas that exposes an excellent section of the late Pennsylvanian Lansing Group (Missourian Stage). Strata from base of cut to first brownish limestone ledge belong to the Vilas Shale; the two limestone ledges above the Vilas, to the top of the roadcut, lie within the Stanton Limestone.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes strata belonging to the late Pennsylvanian Stanton Limestone (Lansing Group, Missourian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes strata belonging to the late Pennsylvanian Spring Hill Limestone Member of the Plattsburg Limestone (Lansing Group, Missourian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes strata belonging to the late Pennsylvanian Lansing Group (Missourian Stage). Approximately lower two-thirds of cut is the Vilas Shale (recessive grayish, thinly stratified rocks); roughly uppermost third is the Captain Creek Limestone Member of the Stanton Limestone.

Virgilian Stage (305-299 million years)

Douglas Group (305-303 million years)

Shawnee Group (303-301 million years)

Wabaunsee Group (301-299 million years)

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. This is a view slightly east of due south in Virgil, Kansas. Pioneering Kansas geologists named the North American Virgilian Stage of the latest Pennsylvanian Period (roughly 305 to 299 million years old)--comprised of the Douglas, Shawnee, and Wabaunsee Groups (oldest to youngest)--in honor of representative strata present in Virgil's general vicinity. Latest population for Virgil, Kansas, is 69 folks.

Douglas Group (305-303 million years)

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Click on the image for a larger pictures. A Google Earth street car perspectives that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the upper Pennsylvanian Amazonia Limestone Member of the Lawrence Formation--Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage.

Click on the image for a larger pictures. A Google Earth street car perspectives that I edited and processed through photoshop. A different view of the same roadcut, above, in Kansas that exposes the upper Pennsylvanian Amazonia Limestone Member of the Lawrence Formation--Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage.

Click on the image for a larger picture. Google Earth street car perspectives that I edited and processed through photo shop. A redcoat in Kansas that exposes shales in the upper Pennsylvanian Lawrence Formation--Douglas Group, Virginian Stage.

Click on the image for a larger picuture. Google Earth street car perspectives that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes shales in the upper Pennsylvanian Lawrence Formation--Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage.

Click on the image for a larger picuture. Google Earth street car perspectives that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes shales in the upper Pennsylvanian Stranger Formation--Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage.

Roadcuts in Kansas that expose the upper Pennsylvanian Latan Limestone Member (narrow brownish ledge near top of slope at upper right; and brownish ledge near top of cut in upper center of image) of the Stranger Formation--Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage.

Click on the image for a larger picuture. Google Earth street car perspectives that I edited and processed through photoshop. Roadcuts in Kansas that expose the upper Pennsylvanian Latan Limestone Member (narrow brownish ledge near top of slope at upper right; and brownish ledge near top of cut in upper center of image) of the Stranger Formation--Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage.

Click on the image for a larger picuture. Google Earth street car perspectives that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes shales in the upper Pennsylvanian Stranger Formation--Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage.

Click on the image for a larger picuture. Google Earth street car perspectives that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes shales in the upper Pennsylvanian Lawrence Formation--Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes shales in the upper Pennsylvanian Ireland Sandstone Member of the Lawrence Formation--Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage.

Click on the image for a larger picture. Google Earth street car perspectives that I edited and processed through photo shop. A redcoat in Kansas that exposes shales in the upper Pennsylvanian Weston Shale Member of the Stranger Formation--Douglas Group, Virginian Stage.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the Haskell Limestone Member of the Upper Pennsylvanian Stranger Formation (Douglas Group, Virgilian Stage)--the narrow ledge at top of the cut, which is underlain here by recessive-weathering shales of the Stranger Formation.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the geologic contact between two major divisions (Groups) of the late Pennsylvanian Virgilian Stage in Kansas--the Douglas Group and the younger Shawnee Group. Grayish rocks at base of roadcut--to just above the vehicle at far left in bottom photograph--belong to the Lawrence Formation (Douglas Group); that brownish ledge at roughly center of roadcut is the Toronto Limestone Member of the Oread Limestone which marks the base (oldest portions) of the Shawnee Group). The recessive interval directly above the Toronto Limestone is the Snyderville Shale Member of the Oread Limestone, and the narrow limestone ledge above the Snyderville is the Leavenworth Limestone Member of the Oread Limestone.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A different view of the same roadcut, above, in Kansas that exposes the geologic contact between two major divisions (Groups) of the late Pennsylvanian Virgilian Stage in Kansas--the Douglas Group and the younger Shawnee Group. Grayish rocks at base of roadcut--to just above the vehicle at far left in bottom photograph--belong to the Lawrence Formation (Douglas Group); that brownish ledge at roughly center of roadcut is the Toronto Limestone Member of the Oread Limestone which marks the base (oldest portions) of the Shawnee Group). The recessive interval directly above the Toronto Limestone is the Snyderville Shale Member of the Oread Limestone, and the narrow limestone ledge above the Snyderville is the Leavenworth Limestone Member of the Oread Limestone.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. Direction is slightly south of due west. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the geologic contact between two major divisions (Groups) of the late Pennsylvanian Virgilian Stage in Kansas--the Douglas Group and the younger Shawnee Group. Grayish strata to about three-quarters the way up the cut belong to the Lawrence Formation (Douglas Group); that brownish ledge just above is the younger Toronto Limestone Member of the Oread Limestone which marks the base (oldest portions) of the Shawnee Group). The rather narrow recessive interval directly above the Toronto Limestone is the Snyderville Shale Member of the Oread Limestone, and the thin limestone band at top of the exposure, above the Snyderville, is the Leavenworth Limestone Member of the Oread Limestone.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the geologic contact between two major divisions (Groups) of the late Pennsylvanian Virgilian Stage in Kansas--the Douglas Group and the younger Shawnee Group. Grayish rocks at base of roadcut to first brownish ledge belong to shales of the Lawrence Formation (Douglas Group); that first prominent brownish ledge is the Toronto Limestone Member of the Oread Limestone, which marks the base (oldest portions) of the Shawnee Group). Geologic age of the Douglas-Shawnee contact is probably around 304 million years. The recessive interval with additional grayish material directly above the Toronto Limestone is the Snyderville Shale Member of the Oread Limestone, and the narrow limestone ledge at top of cut is the Leavenworth Limestone Member of the Oread Limestone.

Shawnee Group (303-301 million years)

Click on images for larger pictures

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. Here's the very place where I first found fossils in Kansas. It's a rather modest roadcut exposure of the upper Pennsylvanian Spring Branch Limestone Member of the Lecompton Limestone (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage) that yielded beaucoup nicely preserved Derbyia genus brachiopods.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the base (oldest portions) of the late Pennsylvanian Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--the Toronto Limestone Member of the Oread Limestone.

Click on the image for a larger pictures. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. Direction is virtually due north. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the base (oldest portions) of the late Pennsylvanian Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage--the Toronto Limestone Member of the Oread Limestone.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes sedimentary material assigned to the upper Pennsylvanian Calhoun Shale (recessive-weathering interval to roughly two-thirds the way up the cut) and Hartford Limestone (brownish ledge at top) members of the Topeka Limestone (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A different view of the same roadcut, above, in Kansas that exposes sedimentary material assigned to the upper Pennsylvanian Calhoun Shale (recessive-weathering interval to roughly two-thirds the way up the cut) and Hartford Limestone (brownish ledge at top) members of the Topeka Limestone (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes sedimentary material assigned to the upper Pennsylvanian Deer Creek Limestone (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A different view of the same roadcut, above, in Kansas that exposes sedimentary material assigned to the upper Pennsylvanian Deer Creek Limestone (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the upper Pennsylvanian Ervine Creek Limestone Member of the Deer Creek Limestone (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A different view of the same roadcut, above, in Kansas that exposes the upper Pennsylvanian Ervine Creek Limestone Member of the Deer Creek Limestone (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the contact between the upper Pennsylvanian Ozawkie Limestone Member of the Deer Creek Limestone (brownish ledge near top of cut) and the Tecumseh Shale (more recessive interval below Ozawkie ledge to ground level). (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the contact between the upper Pennsylvanian Deer Creek Limestone. Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the upper Pennsylvanian Holt Shale Member (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage) of the Topeka Limestone.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the upper Pennsylvanian the Kanwaka Shale (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the upper Pennsylvanian Jackson Park Shale Member of the Kanwaka Shale (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the upper Pennsylvanoian Kanwaka Shale (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes sedimentary material assigned to the upper Pennsylvanian Lecompton Limestone (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes sedimentary material assigned to the upper Pennsylvanian Beil Limestone Member of the Lecompton Limestone (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes sedimentary material assigned to the upper Pennsylvanian Beil Limestone Member of the Lecompton Limestone (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes sedimentary material assigned to the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage). Grayish shales at road level to first orange-brown limestones belong to the Snyderville Shale Member; Leavenworth Limestone Member is that first orange limestone interval; grayish shales above the Leavenworth represent the Heebner Shale Member; remainder of section, to top of roadcut, directly above the Heebner Shale, is the Plattsmouth Limestone Member.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes sedimentary material assigned to the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A different view along the same roadcut, above, in Kansas that exposes sedimentary material assigned to the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes sedimentary material assigned to the upper Pennsylvanian Plattsmouth Limestone Member of the Oread Limestone (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes sedimentary material assigned to the upper Pennsylvanian Plattsmouth Limestone Member of the Oread Limestone (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes sedimentary material assigned to the upper Pennsylvanian Spring Branch Limestone Member of the Lecompston Shale (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes a classic stratigraphic section of the upper Pennsylvanian Tokeka Limestone (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Individual stratigraphic Members of the Topeka Limestone (youngest formation of the Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage) exposed here include--from bottom to top of roadcut: Grayish patch at bottom is Iowa Point Shale; first brownish ledge is the Curzon Limestone; next recessive interval is the James Point Shale; second ledge is the Sheldon Limestone; above the Sheldon lies the Turner Creek Shale; third ledge from bottom is the Du Bois Limestone; next recessive interval is the Holt Shale; and capping the exposure, at the top, is the very top of the Shawnee Group, the Coal Creek Limestone.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A different view of the same roadcut, above, in Kansas that exposes a classic stratigraphic section of the upper Pennsylvanian Tokeka Limestone (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Individual stratigraphic Members of the Topeka Limestone (youngest formation of the Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage) exposed here include--from bottom to top of roadcut: Grayish patch at bottom is Iowa Point Shale; first brownish ledge is the Curzon Limestone; next recessive interval is the James Point Shale; second ledge is the Sheldon Limestone; above the Sheldon lies the Turner Creek Shale; third ledge from bottom is the Du Bois Limestone; next recessive interval is the Holt Shale; and capping the exposure, at the top, is the very top of the Shawnee Group, the Coal Creek Limestone.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the upper Pennsylvanian Hartford Limestone Member of the Tokeka Limestone (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A different view along the same roadcut, above, in Kansas that exposes the upper Pennsylvanian Hartford Limestone Member of the Tokeka Limestone (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes sedimentary material assigned to the upper Pennsylvanian Kereford Limestone Member, which lies stratigraphically at the top of the Oread Limestone (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A different view along the same roadcut, above, in Kansas that exposes sedimentary material assigned to the upper Pennsylvanian Kereford Limestone Member, which lies stratigraphically at the top of the Oread Limestone (Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage).

A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A view due north to a roadcut in Kansas that exposes rocks belonging to the Kereford Limestone Member, which lies at the very top (youngest portions) of the upper Pennsylvanian Oread Limestone--Shawnee Group, Virgilian Stage.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the very top (youngest portions) of the late Pennsylvanian Shawnee Group (Virgilian Stage). The Shawnee Group concludes with the Coal Creek Limestone Member of the Topeka Limestone- that brownish ledge at the top of the roadcut. Rocks below the Coal Creek here are assigned to the Holt Shale Member of the Topeka Formation.

Wabaunsee Group (301-299 million years)

Click on images for larger pictures

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the base (oldest section) of the late Pennsykvanian Wabaunsee Group of Virgilian Stage geologic age--the Severy Shale.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the upper Pennsylvanian Auburn Shale (Wabaunsee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the upper Pennsylvanian Bern Formation (Wabaunsee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the Pillsbury Shale (slope at left, closest to road), overlain by the Dover Limestone Member(bnrownish ledge along cut) and the Dry Shale Member (recessive slope to top of hill, above the Dover Limestone Member ledge) of the Stotler Limestone (Wabaunsee Group, Virgilian Stage).

  Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes three formations in the late Pennsylvanian Wabaunsee Group of Virgilian Stage geologic age: Ledge at base of cut is the Elmont Limestone; mostly grass-covered interval above the Elmont is the Willard Shale; uppermost layer, above the Willard, is the Tarkio Limestone.

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the upper Pennsylvanian Happy Hollow Limestone Member of the Scranton Shale (Wabaunsee Group, Virgilian Stage).

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that exposes the upper Pennsylvanian Pillsbury Shale (greenish-gray recessive interval beginning at groud level) and the overlying Stotler Limestone (brownish ledge at top of slope (Wabaunsee Group, Virgilian Stage).

   

Click on the image for a larger picture. A Google Earth street car perspective that I edited and processed through photoshop. A roadcut in Kansas that reveals the world-famous geologic contact between two Paleozoic Era time periods in Kansas--the transition from the late Pennsylvanian below to the younger lower Permian age above. The precise moment of change from the Pennsylvanian to the Permian Period takes place directly above the brownish limestone ledge that protrudes near the middle of the roadcut--that's the latest Pennsylvanian (top of the Wabaunsee Group, Virgilian Stage) Brownville Limestone, slightly older than 299 million years old. Directly above the upper Pennsylvanian Brownville Limestone is the lower Permian Period Towle Shale Member of the Onaga Shale (Admire Group of the Gearyan Stage), approximately 299 million years old; that thin limestone ledge near top of roadcut is the lower Permian Aspinwall Limestone Member of the Onaga Formation. Strata below the latest Pennsylvanian Brownville Limestone belong to the Pony Creek Shale.

48 million years after deposition of the earliest Permian Towle Shale began, 90 percent of all life on earth died out at the conclusion of the Permian Period.

My Other Web Pages

My Music Pages

  • The Acoustic Guitar Solitaire Of Inyo: A Cyber-CD: Listen to me play 30 covers of some of my favorite songs on an acoustic 6-string guitar; it's all free music.
  • Beyond The Timberline--A Cyber-CD: Listen to me play 32 selections comprised of covers and original tunes on acoustic 6 and 12-string guitars; it's all free music.
  • The Distant Path--A Cyber-CD: Listen to me play 32 acoustic guitar covers and original compositions; it's all free music.
  • Inyo And Folks--A Musical History--A Cyber-CD: My parents and I play 110 selections; it's all free music.
  • Acoustic Stratigraphy--A Cyber-CD: Listen to me play 34 covers of some of my favorite songs on 6 and 12-string guitars; it's all free music.
  • Back To Badwater--A Cyber-CD: Listen to me play 32 covers and original compositions on 6 and 12-string guitars; it's all free music.
  • For an all-text page that includes all 332 of my guitar mp3 files placed on the Internet, go to All Inyo All The Time. That's where you'll find access to all of my musical selections, in order of their appearance on the Web--from my first Cyber-CD ("The Acoustic Guitar Solitaire Of Inyo") to the last, "The Rarities And Alternate Recordings Of Inyo."
  • Inyo 7--A Cyber CD Listen to me play 30 covers of some of my favorite songs, plus originals (all free music).
  • The Rarities And Alternate Recordings Of Inyo--A Cyber-CD Listen to me play 32 seldom-heard, rare, alternate recordings of some of my previously released tracks.
  • Jump on over to my page It's A Happening Thing--Music From The Year 1967. Includes YouTube (and other sources) links to all songs that charted US Billboard Top 100 in year 1967 (close to a thousand, as as matter of fact), plus links to records that bubbled under US Billboard's Hot 100 charts that year (releases that placed #101 to #135); peruse, too, my extensive personal database of year 1967 music.

Paleontology-Related Pages

Web sites I have created pertaining to fossils

  • Fossils In Death Valley National Park: A site dedicated to the paleontology, geology, and natural wonders of Death Valley National Park; lots of on-site photographs of scenic localities within the park; images of fossils specimens; links to many virtual field trips of fossil-bearing interest.
  • Fossil Insects And Vertebrates On The Mojave Desert, California: Journey to two world-famous fossil sites in the middle Miocene Barstow Formation: one locality yields upwards of 50 species of fully three-dimensional, silicified freshwater insects, arachnids, and crustaceans that can be dissolved free and intact from calcareous concretions; a second Barstow Formation district provides vertebrate paleontologists with one of the greatest concentrations of Miocene mammal fossils yet recovered from North America--it's the type locality for the Bartovian State of the Miocene Epoch, 15.9 to 12.5 million years ago, with which all geologically time-equivalent rocks in North American are compared.
  • A Visit To Fossil Valley, Great Basin Desert, Nevada: Take a virtual field trip to a Nevada locality that yields the most complete, diverse, fossil assemblage of terrestrial Miocene plants and animals known from North America--and perhaps the world, as well.
  • Fossils At Red Rock Canyon State Park, California: Visit wildly colorful Red Rock Canyon State Park on California's northern Mojave Desert, approximately 130 miles north of Los Angeles--scene of innumerable Hollywood film productions and commercials over the years--where the Middle to Late Miocene (13 to 7 million years old) Dove Spring Formation, along with a classic deposit of petrified woods, yields one of the great terrestrial, land-deposited Miocene vertebrate fossil faunas in all the western United States.
  • Fossil Plants Of The Ione Basin, California: Head to Amador County in the western foothills of California's Sierra Nevada to explore the fossil leaf-bearing Middle Eocene Ione Formation of the Ione Basin. This is a completely undescribed fossil flora from a geologically fascinating district that produces not only paleobotanically invaluable suites of fossil leaves, but also world-renowned commercial deposits of silica sand, high-grade kaolinite clay and the extraordinarily rare Montan Wax-rich lignites (a type of low grade coal).
  • Trilobites In The Marble Mountains, Mojave Desert, California: Take a trip to the place that first inspired my life-long fascination and interest in fossils--the classic trilobite quarry in the Lower Cambrian Latham Shale, in the Marble Mountains of California's Mojave Desert. It's a special place, now included in the rather recently established Trilobite Wilderness, where some 21 species of ancient plants and animals have been found--including trilobites, an echinoderm, a coelenterate, mollusks, blue-green algae and brachiopods.
  • A Visit To Ammonite Canyon, Nevada: Explore one of the best-exposed, most complete fossiliferous marine late Triassic through early Jurassic geologic sections in the world--a place where the important end-time Triassic mass extinction has been preserved in the paleontological record. Lots of key species of ammonites, brachiopods, corals, gastropods and pelecypods.
  • Fossils In Millard County, Utah: Take virtual field trips to two world-famous fossil localities in Millard County, Utah--Wheeler Amphitheater in the trilobite-bearing middle Cambrian Wheeler Shale; and Fossil Mountain in the brachiopod-ostracod-gastropod-echinoderm-trilobite rich lower Ordovician Pogonip Group.
  • Paleozoic Era Fossils At Mazourka Canyon, Inyo County, California: Visit a productive Paleozoic Era fossil-bearing area near Independence, California--along the east side of California's Owens Valley, with the great Sierra Nevada as a dramatic backdrop--a paleontologically fascinating place that yields a great assortment of invertebrate animals.
  • Late Triassic Ichthyosaur And Invertebrate Fossils In Nevada: Journey to two classic, world-famous fossil localities in the Upper Triassic Luning Formation of Nevada--Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park and Coral Reef Canyon. At Berlin-Ichthyosaur, observe in-situ the remains of several gigantic ichthyosaur skeletons preserved in a fossil quarry; then head out into the hills, outside the state park, to find plentiful pelecypods, gastropods, brachiopods and ammonoids. At Coral Reef Canyon, find an amazing abundance of corals, sponges, brachiopods, echinoids (sea urchins), pelecypods, gastropods, belemnites and ammonoids.
  • Fossils From The Kettleman Hills, California: Visit one of California's premiere Pliocene-age (approximately 4.5 to 2.0 million years old) fossil localities--the Kettleman Hills, which lie along the western edge of California's Great Central Valley northwest of Bakersfield. This is where innumerable sand dollars, pectens, oysters, gastropods, "bulbous fish growths" and pelecypods occur in the Etchegoin, San Joaquin and Tulare Formations.
  • Field Trip To The Kettleman Hills Fossil District, California: Take a virtual field trip to a classic site on the western side of California's Great Central Valley, roughly 80 miles northwest of Bakersfield, where several Pliocene-age (roughly 4.5 to 2 million years old) geologic rock formations yield a wealth of diverse, abundant fossil material--sand dollars, scallop shells, oysters, gastropods and "bulbous fish growths" (fossil bony tumors--found nowhere else, save the Kettleman Hills), among many other paleontological remains.
  • A Visit To The Sharktooth Hill Bone Bed, Southern California: Travel to the dusty hills near Bakersfield, California, along the eastern side of the Great Central Valley in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada, to explore the world-famous Sharktooth Hill Bone Bed, a Middle Miocene marine deposit some 16 to 15 million years old that yields over a hundred species of sharks, rays, bony fishes, and sea mammals from a geologic rock formation called the Round Mountain Silt Member of the Temblor Formation; this is the most prolific marine, vertebrate fossil-bearing Middle Miocene deposit in the world.
  • Middle Triassic Ammonoids From Nevada: Travel to a world-famous fossil locality in the Great Basin Desert of Nevada, a specific place that yields some 41 species of ammonoids, in addition to five species of pelecypods and four varieties of belemnites from the Middle Triassic Prida Formation, which is roughly 235 million years old; many paleontologists consider this specific site the single best Middle Triassic, late Anisian Stage ammonoid locality in the world. All told, the Prida Formation yields 68 species of ammonoids spanning the entire Middle Triassic age, or roughly 241 to 227 million years ago.
  • Fossil Bones In The Coso Range, Inyo County, California: Visit the Coso Range Wilderness, west of Death Valley National Park at the southern end of California's Owens Valley, where vertebrate fossils some 4.8 to 3.0 million years old can be observed in the Pliocene-age Coso Formation: It's a paleontologically significant place that yields many species of mammals, including the remains of Equus simplicidens, the Hagerman Horse, named for its spectacular occurrences at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument in Idaho; Equus simplicidens is considered the earliest known member of the genus Equus, which includes the modern horse and all other equids.
  • Field Trip To A Vertebrate Fossil Locality In The Coso Range, California: Take a cyber-visit to the famous bone-bearing Pliocene Coso Formation, Coso Mountains, Inyo County, California; includes detailed text for the field trip, plus on-site images and photographs of vertebrate fossils.
  • Fossil Plants At Aldrich Hill, Western Nevada: Take a field trip to western Nevada, in the vicinity of Yerington, to famous Aldrich Hill, where one can collect some 35 species of ancient plants--leaves, seeds and twigs--from the Middle Miocene Aldirch Station Formation, roughly 12 to 13 million years old. Find the leaves of evergreen live oak, willow, and Catalina Ironwood (which today is restricted in its natural habitat solely to the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California), among others, plus the seeds of many kinds of conifers, including spruce; expect to find the twigs of Giant Sequoias, too.
  • Fossils From Pleistocene Lake Manix, California: Explore the badlands of the Manix Lake Beds on California's Mojave Desert, an Upper Pleistocene deposit that produces abundant fossil remains from the silts and sands left behind by a great fresh water lake, roughly 350,000 to 19,000 years old--the Manix Beds yield many species of fresh water mollusks (gastropods and pelecypods), skeletal elements from fish (the Tui Mojave Chub and Three-Spine Stickleback), plus roughly 50 species of mammals and birds, many of which can also be found in the incredible, world-famous La Brea Tar Pits of Los Angeles.
  • Field Trip To Pleistocene Lake Manix, California: Go on a virtual field trip to the classic, fossiliferous badlands carved in the Upper Pleistocene Manix Formation, Mojave Desert, California. It's a special place that yields beaucoup fossil remains, including fresh water mollusks, fish (the Mojave Tui Chub), birds and mammals.
  • Trilobites In The Nopah Range, Inyo County, California: Travel to a locality well outside the boundaries of Death Valley National Park to collect trilobites in the Lower Cambrian Pyramid Shale Member of the Carrara Formation.
  • Ammonoids At Union Wash, California: Explore ammonoid-rich Union Wash near Lone Pine, California, in the shadows of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States. Union Wash is a ne plus ultra place to find Early Triassic ammonoids in California. The extinct cephalopods occur in abundance in the Lower Triassic Union Wash Formation, with the dramatic back-drop of the glacier-gouged Sierra Nevada skyline in view to the immediate west.
  • A Visit To The Fossil Beds At Union Wash, Inyo County California: A virtual field trip to the fabulous ammonoid accumulations in the Lower Triassic Union Wash Formation, Inyo County, California--situated in the shadows of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States.
  • Ordovician Fossils At The Great Beatty Mudmound, Nevada: Visit a classic 475-million-year-old fossil locality in the vicinity of Beatty, Nevada, only a few miles east of Death Valley National Park; here, the fossils occur in the Middle Ordovician Antelope Valley Limestone at a prominent Mudmound/Biohern. Lots of fossils can be found there, including silicified brachiopods, trilobites, nautiloids, echinoderms, bryozoans, ostracodes and conodonts.
  • Paleobotanical Field Trip To The Sailor Flat Hydraulic Gold Mine, California: Journey on a day of paleobotanical discovery with the FarWest Science Foundation to the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada--to famous Sailor Flat, an abandoned hydraulic gold mine of the mid to late 1800s, where members of the foundation collect fossil leaves from the "chocolate" shales of the Middle Eocene auriferous gravels; all significant specimens go to the archival paleobotanical collections at the University California Museum Of Paleontology in Berkeley.
  • Early Cambrian Fossils In Western Nevada: Explore a 518-million-year-old fossil locality several miles north of Death Valley National Park, in Esmeralda County, Nevada, where the Lower Cambrian Harkless Formation yields the largest single assemblage of Early Cambrian trilobites yet described from a specific fossil locality in North America; the locality also yields archeocyathids (an extinct sponge), plus salterella (the "ice-cream cone fossil"--an extinct conical animal placed into its own unique phylum, called Agmata), brachiopods and invertebrate tracks and trails.
  • Fossil Leaves And Seeds In West-Central Nevada: Take a field trip to the Middlegate Hills area in west-central Nevada. It's a place where the Middle Miocene Middlegate Formation provides paleobotany enthusiasts with some 64 species of fossil plant remains, including the leaves of evergreen live oak, tanbark oak, bigleaf maple, and paper birch--plus the twigs of giant sequoias and the winged seeds from a spruce.
  • Ordovician Fossils In The Toquima Range, Nevada: Explore the Toquima Range in central Nevada--a locality that yields abundant graptolites in the Lower to Middle Ordovician Vinini Formation, plus a diverse fauna of brachiopods, sponges, bryozoans, echinoderms and ostracodes from the Middle Ordovician Antelope Valley Limestone.
  • Fossil Plants In The Dead Camel Range, Nevada: Visit a remote site in the vicinity of Fallon, Nevada, where the Middle Miocene Desert Peak Formation provides paleobotany enthusiasts with 22 species of nicely preserved leaves from a variety of deciduous trees and evergreen live oaks, in addition to samaras (winged seeds), needles and twigs from several types of conifers.
  • Early Triassic Ammonoid Fossils In Nevada: Visit the two remote localities in Nevada that yield abundant, well-preserved ammonoids in the Lower Triassic Thaynes Formation, some 240 million years old--one of the sites just happens to be the single finest Early Triassic ammonoid locality in North America.
  • Fossil Plants At Buffalo Canyon, Nevada: Explore the wilds of west-central Nevada, a number of miles from Fallon, where the Middle Miocene Buffalo Canyon Formation yields to seekers of paleontology some 54 species of deciduous and coniferous varieties of 15-million-year-old leaves, seeds and twigs from such varieties as spruce, fir, pine, ash, maple, zelkova, willow and evergreen live oak
  • High Inyo Mountains Fossils, California: Take a ride to the crest of the High Inyo Mountains to find abundant ammonoids and pelecypods--plus, some shark teeth and terrestrial plants in the Upper Mississippian Chainman Shale, roughly 325 million years old.
  • Field Trip To The Copper Basin Fossil Flora, Nevada: Visit a remote region in Nevada, where the Late Eocene Dead Horse Tuff provides seekers of paleobotany with some 42 species of ancient plants, roughly 39 to 40 million years old, including the leaves of alder, tanbark oak, Oregon grape and sassafras.
  • Fossil Plants And Insects At Bull Run, Nevada: Head into the deep backcountry of Nevada to collect fossils from the famous Late Eocene Chicken Creek Formation, which yields, in addition to abundant fossil fly larvae, a paleobotanically wonderful association of winged seeds and fascicles (bundles of needles) from many species of conifers, including fir, pine, spruce, larch, hemlock and cypress. The plants are some 37 million old and represent an essentially pure montane conifer forest, one of the very few such fossil occurrences in the Tertiary Period of the United States.
  • A Visit To The Early Cambrian Waucoba Spring Geologic Section, California: Journey to the northwestern sector of Death Valley National Park to explore the classic, world-famous Waucoba Spring Early Cambrian geologic section, first described by the pioneering paleontologist C.D. Walcott in the late 1800s; surprisingly well preserved 540-510 million-year-old remains of trilobites, invertebrate tracks and trails, Girvanella algal oncolites and archeocyathids (an extinct variety of sponge) can be observed in situ.
  • Petrified Wood From The Shinarump Conglomerate: An image of a chunk of petrified wood I collected from the Upper Triassic Shinarump Conglomerate, outside of Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado.
  • Fossil Giant Sequoia Foliage From Nevada: Images of the youngest fossil foliage from a giant sequoia ever discovered in the geologic record--the specimen is Lower Pliocene in geologic age, around 5 million years old.
  • Some Favorite Fossil Brachiopods Of Mine: Images of several fossil brachiopods I have collected over the years from Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic-age rocks.
  • For information on what can and cannot be collected legally from America's Public Lands, take a look at Fossils On America's Public Lands and Collecting On Public Lands--brochures that the Bureau Of Land Management has allowed me to transcribe.

United States Geological Survey Papers (Public Domain)

Online versions of USGS publications

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