Minda Berbeco's picture

Answer Monday!


Photo Credit: King.... via Compfight cc

Last week, I showed you a fossil inspired by my recent trip to Washington, DC. Although the fossil in question came from Washington state. What was it?

We got a lot of answers—most of them declared it was most certainly a sleeping cat!  Although the swirl in the fossil had the look of a snoozing tiger, it was in fact a sea organism from the Eocene. Who correctly identified it first? None other than the aptly named Valerie First!

Valerie correctly identified the fossil as an Aturia sp. Interestingly, I was unable to find much information on this specimen. The Encyclopedia of Life has some lovely pictures and a distribution map, showing that the family Aturiidae expanded beyond our western shores to Europe and even Australia and Africa. 

Such a lovely fossil. Does someone out there know more about this critter? If so, please share your knowledge with us in the comments section below!