plants and animals

Weird fossil of the week: Conularia

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Nick
Garland

Founder and Editor
A strange, small cone-shaped fossil baffled scientists for a very long time. Now that it has found its family, you’ll never guess its closest living relative.

Conularia are some of the most enigmatic fossils ever found. They are not very common globally, but locally in places like Texas and Kentucky they are found in high concentrations.

Their fossils are generally small, four-sided and cone-shaped with series of grooves running side-to-side. Paleontologists think that the pointed end of the cone was attached to the seafloor and the wide end was generally open, but sometimes had four “hatches,” with tentacles emerging from the opening.

Most scientists who have studied the fossils agree that the four-fold symmetry of conularia indicate that they are scyphozoan cnidarians, meaning their closest living relatives are the jellyfish. Strange, but probably true.

Even more strange is that fossil collectors have found pearls inside some conularia fossils. But sorry ladies, these pearls are not jewelry grade.





Conularia had a pretty long run. They lived from the Cambrian to the Triassic periods, a span of some couple hundred million years. There is not yet an explanation for their demise during the Triassic.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

5c3e0c5dff4b84c2d89b8da7be5adf3e

Nick
Garland

Founder and Editor


http://sulc.us/ngrhn
http://www.eartharchives.org/articles/weird-fossil-of-the-week-conularia/