Attention Dry Dredgers
and other collectors
of the Cincinnatian Series Kope Formations!!!!
Be on the lookout for this fossil!

Specimen#: O72k6001


I have recently found a new kind of Algae fossil in the Southgate member of the Kope Formation (Edenian Stage). This strange fossil, pictured below, looks similar to an Echinoderm because it is covered with plates, called meroms. These plates are arranged in a shingled pattern that resembles the seed head of a sunflower at both ends.

This fossil is extremely abundant in a thin layer only a few centimeters thick. But the fossil has only been found on one site in recent years, in Northern Kentucky near Cincinnati.

The layer found to contain these specimens is near the top of the Snag Creek submember or the bottom of the Alexandria submember of the Southgate member, as described in the Field Trip Guidebook ("Sequence, Cycle & Event Stratigraphy of the Upper Ordovician of the Cincinnati Arch Region") by Algeo and Brett, 1999. The layer can easily be identified. It is loaded with Graptolites and Mollusks. The Mollusks include snails, clams and Cephalopods. The Graptolites are 3-dimensional and grey rather than flat and black, as usually found. When you find this combination of fossils, are may be in the right layer for these algae.

When Carl Brett examined the specimens, he raised an interesting question: Algae are primarily shallow water plants. The Kope is thought to be a deep water environment. So what is this alga doing there. Was it transported via currents?. Or was this layer from the Cincinnatian in a shallower water than previously thought?

Carl came out to the site and measured the elevation and correlated it to his previously measured units to determine that it's in approx C25 (top of the Snag Creek submember or the bottom of the Alexandria submember) from his 1999 guidebook. Carl has been very supportive and I greatly appreciate his involvement.

Specimens Identified
I now know that this specific alga HAS BEEN FOUND in the Kope before. Steve Felton was the first to find the reference in an 1879 edition of the Cincinnati Society of Natural History Bulletin, Volume 2, pages 20 to 22, by Ulrich. Carl Brett also found the information concurrently.  Anomaloides reticlulatus has been found in the Kope and documented by Ulrich (See "Fossils of Ohio", Fig 22-1.9) Ulrich also documented Lepidolites dickhautii (Fig 22-1.4) as being found in the Kope of Covington, KY. My specimens are also similar to the Receptaculitids of the Lower Ordovician of the Great Basin area, according to Colin Sumrall. It is likely, though, that my new specimens are Dasyclads, which are green algae.

Steve LoDuca, of East Michigan University, has begun studing my specimens. He has positively identified the specimens as Lepidolites dickhautii. He will be continuing to study this genera as time goes on.

Carl Brett, Steve LoDuca, Steve Felton, Ron Fine and myself would all like to know if there are other occurrences of Lepidolites in the Kope? We would like to raise the awareness of collectors.

Study the pictures below and keep an eye open for these fossils when fossil collecting in the Kope. The specimens are only 1 to several centimeters long, so use a hand lens and look for the unique plating. If you find any of these, please let me know so we can learn more about these alga.

Bill Heimbrock

Lepidolites dickhautii from the Southgate member

Click on an image to see an enlargement.

Rock O72k6000
Specimens: O72k6001 & O72k6002

The rock above has five algae specimens on it. The one shown at top pops off the rock so you can see the other side. The other side looks the same as the side you see. This specimen is in the possession of Carl Brett, Univ of Cinti.

Specimen: O72k0001

The two pictures above show the two sides of a specimen relatively free from matrix. This specimen is in the hands of Steve LoDuca, of Eastern Michigan University.


Specimens: O72k0002 and O72k0003 respectively (above)

The above two specimens are in the hands of Steve LoDuca, of Eastern Michigan University.

Rock: O72k3000
Specimens: O72k3001, 002, 003 & 009
Medium closeup (81k)

Very Closeup (339k)

The above specimen is a rock that is loaded with algae specimens along the edge of the rock. This helps to show that the layer abundant in these fossils is so thin, that the specimens are only exposed on the sides of the rock. This specimen is in the hands of Steve LoDuca, of Eastern Michigan University.

Specimen: O72k0004 (above 3 pictures, 3 sides)

The three pictures above show a half specimen. It is broken perpendicularly, showing the thickness of the outer plating. It looks as though the plating is mostly calcite crystals that are too big to resolve much detail of the rods that should be found inside. Perhaps thin sections will reveal more detail. This specimen is in my hands currently (Bill Heimbrock).

Click here to see a map of the rocks containing this alga.

NEW! => More Lepidolites specimens are now online!

Other References
"Lepidolites has lateral heads, like Cyclocrinites, but is distinguished by its modified and overlapping lateral heads.
"Lepidolites dickhauti
Ulrich, 1879
Occurrence: Southgate
Reference: Dalvé, 1948; Nitecki, 1970; Cross et al., 1996
Includes Lepidolites elongatus, Receptaculites dickhauti, Ischadites dickhauti"


If you find any of these things while collecting, email me at . Thanks!

Bill Heimbrock