I had the good fortune a few weekends ago to be invited on a fossil gathering outing in Dixon IL. The quarry we were in was just loaded with fossils – you pretty much couldn’t turn around without finding something.

This is a close-up photo of one of my favorite specimens. A crinoid crown, about 45mm in length. The imaged was Photoshopped a bit to make the fossil stand out. In the lower right corner, somewhat out of focus, you can make out a smaller version of the same sort of critter.


Update – the gentleman who took me along on this outing has provided me with the specific details of this fossil:

  • Cupulocrinus gracilis
  • Phylum: Echinoderma
  • Class: Crinoidea
  • Location: Dixon, IL
  • Period: Ordovician
  • Group: Platteville
  • Formation: Mifflin

About the only piece of that information I could have worked out on my own was the location, and that’s only because I managed to stay awake long enough on that very early Sunday morning to see the welcome sign as we passed through town 🙂

Now I have to go figure out what that other stuff means. Ordovician, for starters, means this little fellow is 443 to 490 million years old. How cool is that?