Fossil Friday 3/11/16: A corallum (Flabellum sp.)

UF8906

UF 8906, the type specimen of Flabellum chipolanum. This specimen is from the Chipola Formation in Florida and is early Miocene in age. Photo © IVP FLMNH.

This week’s Fossil Friday feature is the fossilized corallum, or coral skeleton, of a coral (Phylum Cnidaria, Class Anthozoa) called Flabellum. The fossil in the photograph is from Florida, but a specimen identified as Flabellum sp. (UF 222226) has been recovered in Panama from the Gatún Formation and is middle-late Miocene in age.

Flabellum sp. (Hard coral) with extended polyps at night

A modern day Flabellum sp. Photo © Nick Hobgood, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

 

Flabellids (Family Flabellidae) are solitary corals, meaning that they consist of only one polyp with a mouth surrounded by tentacles (colonial corals are made up of several polyps). They are found from the Early Cretaceous up into the present-day. Today, they can be found worldwide.

 

 

Reference:

Cairns, Stephen D. 2002. Flabellidae Bourne 1905. Version 28 October 2002. http://tolweb.org/Flabellidae/19103/2002.10.28 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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