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RARE PERFECT COMPLETE INTACT JUVENILE COLONY OF PLIOCENE FOSSIL BRAIN CORAL

Okeechobee County - Florida, USA

LATE PLIOCENE PERIOD :  3 million years ago

Fossil corals are beautiful and fascinating, reminding us of the wonderful creatures that made up prehistoric ocean life.  Unlike modern coral which we VEHEMENTLY discourage purchasing for obvious reasons, collecting fossil coral not only broadens ones collection and studies but it also helps to appreciate the beauty beneath the ancient seas and how important and fragile such amazing creatures were and still are.  While many species of fossil coral are extinct, others still survive today yet struggle against extinction.  Pollution and the modern coral collecting market is directly causing the destruction of massive colonies of these ecologically vital organisms in our oceans.

Where most fossil coral specimens occur in the market as broken junk scraps of a larger colony, this remarkable item is a COMPLETE and INTACT COLONY of the extinct Pliocene species of prehistoric BRAIN CORAL called Meandrina meandrites.  While fossil coral can be found in abundance in many regions of the world, complete unbroken and undamaged colonies similar to this are uncommon!  Even if you could care less about fossil coral, it is hard to resist the beauty that rests with this spectacular specimen.  It truly resembles a miniature brain top!  The colony is a juvenile specimen exhibiting early triangular geometry in its formation.  The underside is intact as is the cap with all important anatomical features present and unbroken.  Specimens like this are EXTREMELY RARE today and super difficult to find when you are fortunate enough to have access into few remaining shell pits in Florida.  Not only is the entire colony intact and complete, even the stem beneath the massive globular structure is intact and well-preserved.  Inner skeletal structures are perfectly preserved and fully cleaned from the shell pit from which it was found.  This specific specimen is one of the most complete and nicest examples we have ever seen!  Entire specimen features NO REPAIR and NO RESTORATION!  

Camels, saber cats, giant ground sloths, giant beavers and mammoths were roaming the forests and plains of Florida when this coral colony was alive in the surrounding warm ancient oceans three million years ago.

Fossil corals were simple marine invertebrates that possessed a sac-like body called a polyp with a mouth and tentacles.  As carnivores, they would immobilize or kill their prey with their stinging tentacles then swallow their prey and later expel the wastes through the same mouth.  They formed a dense outer skeleton of calcium carbonate which, when living in large colonies of thousands of cloned individuals, formed a massive structure.  The complex folds in their stomach cavity can be seen in the wondrous detail left behind in their skeletons.  Modern corals today share a symbiotic relationship with algae that covers their body tissue.  The algae supplement the coral with oxygen which most likely was the case in prehistoric times, as well.

Prehistoric corals are believed to have thrived in the same environments that modern corals prefer - clean, warm oceans of normal salinity levels.  Solitary corals were present in oceans of soft, muddy bottoms while horn corals and colonial corals preferred hard sea floors to attach themselves.   

We highly recommend this choice example.  Specimens of this caliber are seldom discovered and this type of fossil is not mined commercially for the fossil market so it would definitely make quite a unique specimen to any collection.  As both an uncommon and visually attractive fossil, this item presents itself as an excellent opportunity to add a superbly preserved as well as wonderfully aesthetic display specimen to any display of prehistoric ocean life.  

RARE JUVENILE INTACT AND COMPLETE COLONY OF THIS SPECTACULAR AND BEAUTIFUL CORAL - LIKE A MINIATURE BRAIN TOP!

4.25" x 4.25" across x 2.5" high

SOLD     COR099     Actual Item - One Only

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