A favosite is a type of extinct coral. One way to identify them is by the honeycomb patterns on their surfaces where their coral polyps poked out from their calcium carbonate substrate. Preserved in sedimentary claystone, the fossil sample below was found in a field in Allegan County of Southwestern Michigan, USA. It’s more commonly found in locations where you find the Michigan Petoskey Stones and Charlevoix Favosite Stones situated in the Traverse Group Geological Formations in the far northern sections of the state.
Like all coral, Favosite corals thrived in warm, shallow sunlit seas. They were a colony type forming colorful quilt work reefs and fed by filtering microscopic plankton with their stinging tentacles. They were most prevalent during the Silurian and Devonian time slots, but date as far back as the Ordovician and forward to the Permian between 251-488 mya. That’s over 200 million years of living on earth . . . amazing!
Common Name: Honeycomb Coral Scientific Name: Favosite, cervicona
Phylum: Cnidaria (means to sting)
Class: Anthozoa (means flower animal)
Order: Tabulata (possess inner horizontal dividing walls)
Family: Favositidae (honeycomb pattern on exoskeleton)
Genus: Favosite Species: Alpenensis
The tabulae (horizontal internal layers) place the favosite corals in the order of tabulata with internal chambers that built outward and upwards as the organism grew.
The walls between corallites were pierced by pores known as mural pores which allowed transfer of nutrients between polyps.