Conodonts From Mazourka Canyon, Death Valley Area, And Nevada

Here are conodont specimens dissolved out of a number of Paleozoic Era geologic rock formations exposed in the Great Basin of eastern California through central Nevada; they are greatly magnified here--over 30 times. Although they appear to superficially resemble teeth or jaws, conodonts are minute calcium phosphate structures--unrelated to modern animal dentition and jaws--that served as a food-gathering apparatus in an extinct lamprey eel-like organism. Conodonts figured from the lower to middle Devonian Sunday Canyon Formation (top of photo), the lower Silurian to lower Devonian Vaughn Gulch Limestone (at top of photograph), and the upper Ordovician to lower Silurian Ely Springs Dolomite (at bottom of image) were recovered from the Mazourka Canyon area, Inyo County, California. The lower Silurian to lower Devonian Hidden Valley Dolomite (center of photo) denticles (that's what conodont specialists call the minute structures) came from exposures in the Death Valley region; conodonts from the lower to upper Silurian Roberts Mountains Formation (center of image) were collected from central Nevada outcrops. Photograph taken from a specific scientific document.

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