Dry Dredgers Field Trip
October 23, 2010
A Northern Kentucky Byway
Kope and Fairview Formations, Late Ordovician Period

The Dry Dredgers returned to their favorite Northern Kentucky byway. There are more than 50 road cuts along this route, each with a unique mix of layers and features. We stopped at mostly different road cuts than we did on our last trip in 2008. We hit three road cuts this time.

Best Finds of the Day

We'll cut right the the best find of the day.

This is a large crinod that I think is Anomalocrinus incurvus. I can't tell for certain if this is a holdfast or part of the calyx (crown), but I think it's a holdfast. Perhaps someone can email me and let me know what they think it is? There is a lot of bryozoan attached to it. The Anomalocrinus, in addition to being remarkably large, attached themselves to bryzoans. (Next 5 Pictures)

Stop #1

The first site exposed the Kope or Latonia Formation.

Fossils Found at Stop #1

Quite a lot of Nautiloid Cephalopods were found at this site. Check out this really nice and long impression of a straight shelled nautiloid in a slab. Sitting next to it is a small internal mold of the same.

Other Cephalopods were found at the site and many had a nice brown coloration from calcite and some fine chamber features.

Even though no one found a whole trilobite on this stop, there was plenty of evidence. Here's a really nice Rusophycus (Flexicalymene burrow). Most of the surrounding trace fossils are worm burrows, but some may have been made by trilobites.

Other evidence of trilobites included this fragment of Isotelus.

Trace fossils abounded on this site. The photos shown below are worm burrows, for the most part.

Bryozoans were also common. Tons of ramose (branching) bryos were found and collected.

Others collected "leafy" bryozoans.

Among the brachiopods where this small but nice ones. They are Zygospira modesta (left) and Cincinnetina multisecta (right).

Perhaps this site is further up than the Southgate member or perhaps this photo got mixed up with the ones from our second site, which is further up in the strata, but here is a Rafinesquina. It's usually not found as low as the Southgate, but I'm sure there is some explanation.

Stop #2

Our second site exposes the Kope and the Fairmount Formations.

Fossils Found at Stop #2

Yes! We found whole trilobites on this site. These below are Flexicalymene. The species is probably meeki.

We also found the burrows of Flexicalymene, called Rusophycus.

Lots of fragments of Isotelus trilobites were also found.

On this site, I did not see anyone find a crinoid, but pieces of articulated stems including the one below were found.

Some very interesting straight-shelled Nautiloid Cephalopods were found. In this first example, a cephalopod is encrusted with a bryozoan which aligns its monticules with the water current. This bryozoan is called Spatiopora. Presumably, this incrustation happened while the cephalopod was alive, so the monticules are aligned in the cephalopod's direction of travel. Fantastic!

Another fantastic specimen was a large slab whose surface had brown calcifications. Some of these look like clams, while others are still uncertain. There was a large brown area that one might suspect is a fragment of a large trilobite or oversized clam. But on close examination, it has examples the bryozoan Spatiopora on it and the monticules are aligned. So it could be the outer surface of a large cephalopod. Nice!

The next cephalopod is much easier to see on the rock surface. It shares the surface with a large colony of bryozoans.

Here's another cephalopod on a slab that is not so easy to spot. This one shares the surface with bunches and bunches of trilobite parts, mostly from Flexicalymene.

This cephalopod, is not so easy to identify. We are looking at just part of the inner structure of the shell. You might think this is a crinoid stem or even a trilobite thorax, but it's actually a cephalopod.

Bivalves (clams) were really common on this site. This next example is a clam called Ambonychia.

This Fairview Formation site was great for finding trace fossils. Here is a very long trace of what is probably a worm burrow.

Here's a photo of some of the big chunky bryozoans that were on the site.

Among the brachiopods, probably the most common was a tiny brachiopod called Cincinnetina multisecta. (next 3 pics)

Gastropods (snails) were found on this site with some nice shell preservation. This first photo is a group of five Cyclonema. The second photo is of a snail with nice shell preservation, but it's not Cyclonema. I'm not sure what that one is.

Stop #3

Our third stop brought us to what appears to be more Fairfiew fauna.

Fossils Found at Stop #3

I think the best find at site#3 may have been this spear-shaped bryozoan that is limited, for the most part, to the Fairview formation. It is called Escharopora falciformis.

You can also identify Escaropora by the diamond-shaped aparatures, as seen in the close-up below.

Other bryozoans found included the more common ramose (branching) bryozoans, found populating almost every rock.

And we found lots more straight-shelled Nautiloid Cephalopods at this site. (Next 5 pics)

Clam molds and casts were everywhere too. Clams are called bivalve mollusks. They are also known as pelecypods.

There were lots of pieces of trilobites found. The picture below is a glabella of the common trilobite Flexicalymene.

Ichnofossils (trace fossils) where also very common. Here's a rock with traces that are probably made by worms as they scooted in the mud.

Fossils found at all stops (used close-up camera with no time stamp)


By far, the most common trilobite we found was Flexicalymene sp..


Here's a couple of crinoid holdfasts.

Most of our crinoid finds were stems.





Cyclonema sp.


Now let's check out the March 2011 field trip to a site we've not visited in decades.

See a previous trip to this Northern Kentucky Byway

Back to Field Trip Photo Index

Return to Dry Dredgers Home Page

The Dry Dredgers and individual contributors reserve the rights to all information, images, and content presented here. Permission to reproduce in any fashion, must be requested in writing to admin@drydredgers.org .