Ordovician Pyritized Ostracod


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This is an Exceptional example of an Ordovician Pyritized Ostracod from Beechers Bed, Oneida County, New York.

Ostracods are by far the most common arthropods in marine environments but they are tiny and often overlooked by collectors. And this rare fossil exhibits soft tissue preservation as pyrite replacement.

This is an Ordovician Pyritized Ostracod. These are a  class of Crustacean sometimes known as seed shrimp. Some 57,000 species have been identified.  They are small crustaceans, typically around 1 mm in size, but varying from 0.2 to 30 mm . Their bodies are flattened from side to side and protected by a calcareous valve or “shell”. The hinge of the two valves is in the upper  part of the body.

This is a Natural Ordovician Pyritized Ostracod. Because soft tissue preservation is so rare, these fossils are highly sought after. These Ostracods are generally very small.  These ostracods come form the rich layers originally worked and described by Beecher. Because of his work we now know more about these creatures and their soft tissue replacement.

The Pyritized Ostracod was found in Frankfort Formation of Oneida County, New York.

Because of the deposits they are found in, they appear to have lived on the deep sea floor and these environments with little oxygen was perfect for fossilization. These were found in the Frankfort Formation, called Beecher’s Trilobite Bed. Pyrite has delicately preserved Ostracod to the point of soft tissue preservation.

The attached photograph is of the Ordovician Pyritized Ostracod on the block.