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Graptolite

PRODUCT TYPE: Fossil

Around 480 million years ago, this fossil was a species of graptolite called Araneograptus murrayi.

This species lived during the Tremadocian stage of the lower Ordovician period and was preserved in the now famous Fezouata shale deposits of Morocco.

Graptolites were colonial, planktonic organisms with dendritic morphology, meaning they had numerous appendages which fanned out, likely to help gather more food from their environment as they floated through the ocean. This specimen, though incomplete, shows a portion of the fan-like appearance these animals had.

The rock this fossil is preserved in is from a shale that consists of 1,100 meters (3,600 ft) of layer upon layer of deposits. These layers contain thousands of specimens from 50 distinct taxa, providing a highly detailed fossil record of a specific window in time from 470 to 485 million years ago.

A 2016 study suggests this fossil formation was aided by storms that deposited sediment where these animals were living, creating a Pompeii-like snapshot of life on the ancient sea floor.

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Graptolite

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FOSSIL DETAILS
TIME SCALE
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FOSSIL DETAILS

Specimen: Graptolite

Genus/Species:
Era:
Age:
Location:
Size:

Notes:

TIME SCALE

This table contains the geological time periods of the past 2.5 billion years on Earth to aid in understanding age immense age of these fossils.

(Ma = Mega-annum = 1,000,000 years)
EON ERA PERIOD EXTENT (Ma) DURATION (Ma)
Phanerozoic Cenozoic Quaternary 2.588–Present 2.588+
Neogene 23.03–2.588 20.4
Paleogene 66.0–23.03 42.9
Mesozoic Cretaceous 145.5–66.0 79.5
Jurassic 201.3–145.0 56.3
Triassic 252.17–201.3 50.9
Paleozoic Permian 298.9–252.17 46.7
Carboniferous 358.9–298.9 60
Devonian 419.2–358.9 60.3
Silurian 443.4–419.2 24.2
Ordovician 485.4–443.4 42
Cambrian 541.0–485.4 55.6
Proterozoic Neoproterozoic Ediacaran 635.0–541.0 94
Cryogenian 850–635 215
Tonian 1,000–850 150
Mesoproterozoic Stenian 1,200–1,000 200
Ectasian 1,400–1,200 200
Calymmian 1,600–1,400 200
Paleoproterozoic Statherian 1,800–1,600 200
Orosirian 2,050–1,800 250
Rhyacian 2,300–2,050 250
Siderian 2,500–2,300 200
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Graptolite

Graptolite

$12.00