A Lovely Critter

When driving to my sister’s house in Anderson Co. Ky, the road that I travel traverses the beautiful Kentucky River gorge. The Kentucky River is a meandering stream that was entrenched in its gorge by an uplift in the area during the early Pliocene.

The relatively recent uplift in the area has resulted in an immature drainage of the subsurface that is especially noticeable in periods of heavy rain. In the winter, after a low pressure system moves through the area dropping rain, and if the temps drop below freezing, stunning examples of the immaturity can be seen at many outcrops(more on that in a later post???)

Crossing the gorge on this route, one notices the Austin Nichols distillery; makers of some of the finest Bourbon that money can buy, and a progenitor of some of the greatest times that I have ever had…

… and probably at least one divorce!

The outcrop in the middle right of the photo is the Logana member of the Lexington Limestone. The Logana is a sequence of alternating limestones and shales that is, for the most part, poorly fossiliferous. For that reason, I never gave it much thought. However, at the base of the Logana is the Curdsville mb of the Lexington.

The Curdsville, though sparsely fossiliferous, has been known to produce, exceptionally rare and well preserved, echinoderms and trilobites in shaley partings separating some of the beds.

Finding a place to park for this outcrop is challenging; there used to be a roadside park adjacent to the outcrop in the days before the interstate system, but alas! No more(Too, It is dangerous, as the road is curvy and only about a meter distant). As luck would have it, about a kilometer up the hill is an area where a suitable place to pull over can be found.

So one day, with a little time on my hand, I checked it out.

I found a large boulder that had probably been blasted when the road was cut, and on the boulder was found this Iocrinus sp.
width of photo about 12cm

A few centimeters from the crinoid, this holdfast was found.
width of photo about 10cm

At the time, I only had a hammer and chisel, so I chopped the two pieces from the rock. Hence, the breakage.

Apparently, Iocrinus sp has not been found accompanied with a holdfast, often, and there is some debate as to its type holdfast, ie, was it sessile???

If the holdfast found intimately associated with this critter was its own, well…

addendum: I have worked the outcrop extensively. It is dangerous, and not worth your time. I have “pulled” anything of any substance… which was little, and there are many more productive outcrops in the region. DON’T GO THERE!


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