The region around Cincinnati, Ohio, is known throughout the world for the abundant and beautiful fossils found in limestones and shales that were deposited as sediments on the sea floor during the Ordovician Period, about 450 million years ago-some 250 million years before the dinosaurs lived. In Ordovician time, the shallow sea that covered much of what is now the North American continent teemed with marine life. The Cincinnati area has yielded some of the world's most abundant and best-preserved fossils of invertebrate animals such as trilobites, bryozoans, brachiopods, molluscs, echinoderms, and graptolites. So famous are the Ordovician fossils and rocks of the Cincinnati region that geologists use the term "Cincinnatian" for strata of the same age all over North America. This book synthesizes more than 150 years of research on this fossil treasure-trove, describing and illustrating the fossils, the life habits of the animals represented, their communities, and living relatives, as well as the nature of the rock strata in which they are found and the environmental conditions of the ancient sea.
David L. Meyer is Professor of Geology at the University of Cincinnati. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. Richard Arnold Davis is Professor of Biology and Geology at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. Steven M. Holland is Professor of Geology at the University of Georgia, Athens. He lives in Athens, Georgia.
Preface Acknowledgments List of Repositories of Fossils Illustrated in This Book 1. Introduction 2. Science in the Hinterland: The Cincinnati School of Paleontology 3. Naming and Classifying Organisms 4. Rocks, Fossils, and Time 5. Algae: The Base of the Food Chain 6. Poriferans and Cnidarians: Sponges, Corals, and Jellyfish 7. Bryozoans: "Twigs and Bones" 8. Brachiopods: The Other Bivalves 9. Molluscs: Hard but with a Soft Center 10. Annelids and Wormlike Fossils 11. Arthropods: Trilobites and Other legged Creatures 12. Echinoderms: A World Unto Themselves 13. Graptolites and Conodonts: Our Closest Relatives? 14. Trace Fossils: Tracks, Trails, and Burrows 15. Paleoeography and Paleoenvironment, by Steven M. Holland 16. Life in The Cincinnatian Sea Appendix 1: Resources Appendix 2: Individuals and Institutions Associated with the Cincinnati Region Glossary References Cited Index