Interesting Horn Corals


Grewingkia, canadensis (horn coral)

Grewingkia, canadensis (horn coral) VIEW LARGE


 The horn corals have long gone by the wayside, but in their hay day they must have added  a certain beauty to the diorama of the Paleozoic seafloor. Some varieties dominated the scene reaching meters in length.  At night they flung out their long tentacles in order to sweep up  unsuspecting organisms passing by.  They attached themselves to the sea floor with the narrowed ends of their exoskeletons, whereas their wide-opened top ends encased the tentacles; hence the reference to the shape of a horn.

fossils 129

Heliophyllum Horn Coral

* Horn corals were extremely abundant during the Paleozoic time slot and most were individual varieties with a few colony variety exceptions.

Prehistoric Horn Corals

Prehistoric Horn Corals




Scientific Name: Grewingkia, canadensis                Heliophyllum

Common Name: Horn Coral                                       Same

Kingdom: Animalia                                                       Same

Phylum: Cnardia (means to sting)                             Same

Class: Anthozoa (means flower animal)                   Same

Order: Rugosa (means wrinkled wall)                      Same  

Suborder: Stauriida                                                      Same

Family: Streptelasmatidae                                     Zaphrentidea

Genus:  Grewingkia                                                   Heliophyllum

Species: canadensis                                                    Unknown

As a very general rule, rugose coral have stronger radial septa (septum) or vertical growth walls that radiate out from the center (like bicycle spokes).  Rugose corals differ from other corals by this pattern by which they add septa through their growth.  Named for their wrinkly outer skin they possessed less developed horizontal partitions, but stronger vertical ones.



4 thoughts on “Interesting Horn Corals

  1. May I use your colorful drawing of horn corals for my fossil walk here at Grand Canyon. I’m a ranger here, and I think your image would help with imagination.

    Robb Hannawacker

    • Hello Robb, Thank you for stopping by my fossil site. You definitely have my permission to use my image of the horn coral for your Grand Canyon walk! So sorry I didn’t get back to you a little sooner. Life gets in the way sometimes from the things we enjoy most! Best of luck to you,
      Kathi aka fossillady

  2. Thanks for all the info! I see a lot of these while hiking in the mountains. I can see in your picture some are strait and some are bent. I’ve never come across a strait one. I’m wondering if they would have been strait while alive and then bend after dying? Sort of like theropod fossils are found bent backwards sometimes in the death pose.

    • Good question. I imagine it depends on their habitat and species. I have learned that some species could grow two meters upwards enabling them to better filter plankton, so those would likely be straight.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s