Phyllograptus Ordovician Graptolite Fossil

Phyllograptus typus

Phylum Hemichordata; Class Graptolithina

Geologic Time: Early Ordovician, Bendigonian Stage (475-473 million years ago)

Size: 10 mm by 8 mm

Fossil Site: Spring Gully, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

Phyylograptus typus GraptoliteThis is a specimen of a graptolite whose genus name derives from its leaf-like shape. Graptolites are colonial animals belonging to the hemichordates. The term originates from the patronymic genus Graptolithus. The Graptoloidea were pelagic, drifting with the currents, and were the most important members of the plankton before dying out in the early Devonian. Many were quite cosmopolitan in distribution, and the limited temporal duration of individual species make them excellent index fossils for correlation of strata and biota from widespread locations. There are several examples of a very different morphology on the reverse side, making for a most interesting specimen.

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