Interesting fossil found near Moscow, Russia
Gzhelian Stage, Rusavkian substage

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Photographed by means of a microscope. I have collected approximately 35 similar specimens. I only can speculate as to what these fossils might represent. I will soon create thin sections for further examination.
Alexander Davydov (Moscow, Russia)

Barry Sutton and Alexander Davydov

Viewer Comments #1

I cannot suggest a name for this interesting fossil, but I can suggest what group it belongs with. The surface pattern is familiar because it is the type of surface that is formed by a layer of tissue that secretes layer upon layer. It is an internal secretion, not an exoskeleton.

I think it is a secretion of an octocoral - a type of thing that is not commonly preserved as a fossil, although the animals are quite common in ocean environments. This is probably part of the holdfast, secreted by the colony as a base to anchor it in the sediments. The shape is not appropriate for placement above the ocean floor, but is good for an anchor within sediments. This is quite irregular and I would expect a group of specimens to be variable.

This fossil probably could be given a name, but looking at the literature of these unusual fossils can be quite difficult.

Viewer Comments #2

It looks identical to Rhizopoterion arbourensis from the Cretaceous. I would not rule out this being a sponge holdfast or something similar.

Viewer Comments #3

My first thought on seeing the photos was holdfast. My Cretaceous porifera have lost theirs but somewhere I have the outline of one preserved in quartz in a flint and the outline of the holdfast is preserved as well. Much larger than what you have of course but very similar in appearance. Being so small could they be bryozoan holdfasts as opposed to coral?

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