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Last April, two off-duty members of the educational team at the Penn Dixie Fossil Park, Jonathan Hoag and James Hanna, uncovered the well-preserved remains of a mysterious and exceedingly rare animal – a ‘Carpoid’ – amongst the Devonian Period rocks there. The remains, which date to approximately 382 million years old, are from a small invertebrate which lived in the ancient ocean that covered our region long before dinosaurs walked the Earth. Carpoids belong to the class of echinoderms known as Soluta, a branch of the carpoids previously thought to have gone extinct some 410 to 408 million years ago during the Early Devonian Period. The new Penn Dixie carpoids have been placed at roughly 382 million years old – extending the geological range of the Solutes by 25 million years. These carpoids are known as a ‘Lazarus taxon:’ an animal that disappears from the fossil record, then reappears much later. Join discoverers Hoag and Hanna at upcoming BAPG monthly meeting, where Dr. Phil Stokes, Executive Director of the Hamburg Natural History Society, will present the details of this important find. The meeting will take place at Ilio Di Paolo's in Blasdell the evening of Wednesday February 21, 2024. Click here to register. Hope to see you there!
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