Ordovician Graptolite Fossil
Hemichordata; Class Graptolithina
Time: Early Ordovician, Bendigonian Stage (475-473 million years ago)
mm by 8 mm
Spring Gully, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
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.
fossil pictures to enlarge