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Coral (Solitary or Rugose)

Fossil Picture Gallery


Rugose or solitary corals were abundant in the Paleozoic Era but are now extinct. They're also called horn corals. (more below)
Coral loners of the Paleozoic
Photo (c) 2000 Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com (fair use policy)
Corals are a very old group of organisms, originating in the Cambrian Period more than 500 million years ago. The rugose corals are common in rocks from Ordovician through Permian age. These particular horn corals come from the Middle Devonian (397 to 385 million years ago) limestones of the Skaneateles Formation, in the classic geologic sections of the Finger Lakes country of upstate New York.

These horn corals were collected at Skaneateles Lake, near Syracuse, early in the 20th century by my great-aunt Lily Buchholz. She lived to the age of 100, but these are some 3 million times older than she was.

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