Paleontology and geology
Most of the surface rocks in western and northwestern Missouri are Carboniferous in age. Early Carboniferous (Mississippian) rocks are exposed in a band that extends from the southwestern corner of the state, northeast across central Missouri, and up the eastern side along the Mississippi River. Most of these rocks are limestones, formed from limy sediments deposited on the floor of a warm shallow sea. These rocks are famous for their fossil remains of crinoids, sea urchins, and corals, and contain large, economically important lead and zinc deposits. Missouri's state fossil, the crinoid Delocrinus missouriensis, is found in some of these rocks.
Exposures of Late Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian) rocks are quite extensive in northwestern Missouri and occur below the surface in more than two thirds of the counties in the state. Repeating patterns of sediment deposition (marine limestone and shale, followed by non-marine sandstone, shale, and coal) indicate that a shallow sea advanced and retreated numerous times over this part of the state. Approximately 1,500 of Missouriís more than 5,300 caves occur in Mississippian-age rocks. A variety of fossil plants, such as ferns, seed ferns, Calamites, scale trees, and early conifers, as well as trackways and bones of amphibians, occur in the terrestrial rocks. Fossils of cephalopods, clams, and gastropods are the dominant marine fossils.
Education and Exhibits | Research and Collections
Education and Exhibits
Research and Collections
Virtual Exhibits (showing 2 of 2 listings)
Pennsylvanian Fossils of Missouri: Although these Pennsylvanian pages are named "Pennsylvanian Fossils of Missouri", this web site is more accurately devoted to a study of the Altamont Formation, containing the fossiliferous Lake Neosho Shale, at one locality in the St. Louis, Missouri, Pennsylvanian Outlier.
Mississippian Fossils of Missouri: The Mississippian Fossils of Missouri project is focused on the Mississippian exposures in the St. Louis area.
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Researchers (showing 1 of 1 listings)
Dr. Thomas W. Kammer: Specialty: Evolutionary paleoecology of Paleozoic crinoids, plus lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, and sequence stratigraphy of marine Mississippian rocks in the east-central United States. Field areas include West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa.
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Ongoing Research Projects (showing 2 of 2 listings)
Paleontology and Geology of Missouri: This site is a Paleontological research project based in
St. Louis, Missouri, devoted to the study of the geological
formations in Missouri. Primary focus is the study of the
fossils found in these formations.
The bryozoan Evactinopora: Evactinopora is a star-shaped bryozoan, one of the most unusual Mississippian fossils that occur in the midcontinent region of North America.
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