Fossil Mass Mortality, Marine Brachiopod Beds from New York
Age: Middle Devonian (397.5 to 385.3 million years ago)
Location: Just West of Ithaca, New York
Collected: June, 2020
This was a mass die-off, or “mass mortality”. This bed of Brachiopods were likely buried alive in the middle Devonian (397.5 to 385.3 million years ago).
Brachiopods, phylum Brachiopoda, are a group of lophotrochozoan animals that have hard "valves" on the upper and lower surfaces, unlike the left and right arrangement in bivalve molluscs. Brachiopod valves are hinged at the rear end, while the front can be opened for feeding or closed for protection.
Brachiopods have an extensive fossil record, first appearing in rocks dating back to the early part of the Cambrian Period, about 541 million years ago. They were extremely abundant during the Paleozoic Era, reaching their highest diversity roughly 400 million years ago, during the Devonian Period.