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Invertebrate Fossils of NJ

The Cretaceous Corals

 The Cretaceous corals from New Jersey do not occur with any great abundance or diversity. Only the Scleractina or the Stony Corals have been reported from the New Jersey Cretaceous and the number of species limited to just over a handful. Most of the Cretaceous Scleractina corals where composed primarily of aragonite, a form of calcium carbonate that is fairly unstable and is commonly dissolved away by the acidic groundwater. In most areas the corals have dissolved away leaving delicate steinkerns (molds). In a few locations the consistency of the clay acts as a natural barrier to the groundwater and fossils may be found as original material.
  I've divided this page by family (only three are known in NJ) and where possible provide examples of both steinkerns and original material preservation. 

 


Family Rhizangiidae
Genus Astrangia Milne-Edwards & Haines 1848
Subgenus Coenangia Verrill 1969
 

 Astrangia (Coenangia) cretacea preserved as original material.

Woodbury Formation
Camden County, NJ

 


Family Caryophylliidae
Genus Trochocyathus Milne-Edwards and Haime.


 Plate 1
Trochocyathus woolmani Vaughan
 Original material

Woodbury Formation
Camden County, NJ


 


 


Plate 2
Trochocyathus woolmani
Trochocyathus is a solitary coral; Weller (1907) describes three species from NJ

 


 


Plate 3 T. woolmani Steinkern

Wenonah Formation
Monmouth County, NJ
.


Family Micrabaciidae
Genus Micrabacia Milne-Edwards and Haime


Also known as button corals, two species of the solitary coral Micrabacia have been reported from
New Jersey.

 

Plate 4
Micrabacia cribraria Stephenson 1916
Beautifully preserved as original Material.

Woodbury Formation
Camden County, NJ


 

Plate 5
Micrabacia cribraria - steinkern
Top row - typical steinkern preservation
Bottom row - highly detailed preservation

Wenonah Formation
Monmouth County, NJ

 


 


Plate 6
Micrabacia hillgardia
 
steinkern

Weller (1907) reported Micrabacia Americana from NJ,
which is a synonym for Micrabacia hillgardia 

 


 

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