Virtual Tour of the Johnston Geology Museum

Stop 6 – The Hamilton Quarry - A Paleozoic Time Capsule

The Hamilton Quarry collection contains an unusually well-preserved assemblage of marine, euyhaline (mixed salinity), freshwater, and terrestrial fossils. It is known for its amazing diversity, unique combination of environments, and soft-tissue preservation of some organism. Terrestrial (conifers, insects, myriapods, reptile), freshwater (ostracodes), aquatic (amphibians, reptile), euryhaline (ostracodes, eurypterids, spirorbids, fish), and marine (brachiopods, echinoderms) fossils can all be found, all within 1 m thick layer of rock at the Quarry. Plant fossils (primarily seed ferns and ferns), eurypterids, shrimp, brachiopods, bivalves, and rare fish are found in the rock layers just below suggesting that a a near-shore, marine environment existed beforehand. The unique environment and assortment of organisms at Hamilton is classified as a Lagerstatte deposit, and is only found in a few places in the world. This collection requires an entire "room" to display. Enter the room by clicking on the link below, and move through each case on at a time to see it all.

Question #17: During what Period of geologic time were the rocks of Hamilton Quarry deposited? Click here to see a Geologic Time Scale

Question #18: What is the approximate range in years (beginning to end) of the Period mentioned in Question 10

Question #19: What was the sedimentary environment of deposition these fossils formed in?

Question #20: Which one of the five types of fossil preservation (from question 1 above) does the fossil plant specimen labeled Cordainthus (Seeds of Cordainthus) show?

Question #21: True or False, Some of the fossils from Hamilton Quarry show indications of body outline, not just skeletons, skeletal parts, or traces.