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APPALACHIAN BLUE RIDGE PROJECT

Research Areas > Great Smokys > Cades Cove

Fossils of Cades Cove

     The Ordovician Jonesboro Limestone contains conodont microfossils (Orndorff and others, 1988; 1989; Repetski, 1998), and silicified macrofossils.  Conodonts are microscopic (0.1 to 1mm), calcium phosphate, tooth-shaped elements of a group of extinct marine animals.   The macrofossils can be seen with the naked eye and include brachipods, mollusks (gastropod operculae and orthocone cephalopods), trace fossil tubes, and possibly fragments of trilobite (Neuman, 1947; Neuman and Nelson, 1965).  Brachiopods look like modern clams, gastropods look like modern snails, cephalopods look like nautilus, and trilobites resemble modern horseshoe crabs.  The trace fossil tubes were made by a burrowing marine creature. 

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th_conodonts.jpg (15701 bytes)
conodonts

th_brachiopods.jpg (17519 bytes)
brachiopods

th_gastropod.jpg (18481 bytes)
gastropod operculae

th_fossil_tubes.jpg (11317 bytes)
trace fossil tubes

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