Hoxie Gorge - Upper Devonian Site
Plumalina plumaria Hall - A Fossil of Uncertain Affinities

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   This site is a stream cut and small road cuts located on Hoxie Road Gorge where it crosses under I-81, approximately 5.8 miles (9.2 km) southeast of Cortland, Cortland County, NY.  Here the stream cuts through shales of the Geneseo Formation of the Genesee Group, Upper Devonian (Frasnian).

    The site is relatively poor in fossils, with the occasional brachiopod and crinoid columnal.  However, of special note are occasional specimens of a feather-like fossil, Plumalina plumeria Hall.   This is a "problematic" fossil, in that its affinity to any extant animal group is uncertain.  However, Plumalina is most generally thought to be a colonial hydrozoan (Class Hydrozoa, Phyllum Cnidaria) related to the corals, jelly fish, etc.)

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Above: a small slab with several partial Plumalina (two labeled A and B).   Below:  enlarged views of the two fragments (scale divisions 1 cm).
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Another small specimen below illustrates the feather-like structure of Plumalina (1 cm scale divisions).
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My thanks to Steven Mize, who found this Plumalina!

References:
"Plumalina plumaria" - http://www.newarkcampus.org/professional/osu/faculty/jstjohn/Cool%20Fossils/Plumalina.htm
"Hoxie Gorge Nature Preserve" - http://www.cortland.edu/outdoor/hoxie/hg_history.html

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Page last modified July 6, 2009