What is a favosite?

A favosite is a type of extinct coral. One way to identify them is by the honeycomb patterns on their surfaces, which is where their coral polyps lived. Preserved in sedimentary claystone, the fossil sample below was found in Allegan County of Southwestern Michigan, USA in a field. It’s more commonly found in locations near where you find the Michigan Petoskey Stones and Charlevoix Stones situated in the Traverse Group Geological Formations in the far northern sections of the state.

Favosite Coral

Favosite Coral Fossil

Favosites, like most coral, thrived in warm, shallow sunlit seas. They were a colony type of coral forming colorful quilt work reefs. They 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!  

Scan_Pic0002f

Favosite Rendering

CLASSIFICATION

Common Name: Honeycomb Coral        Scientific Name: Favosite, cervicona (above)

Kingdom: Animal

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

Favosite Coral Preserved in Gray Shale

Favosite Coral Preserved in Gray Shale Revealing Honeycomb Patterns

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.

coralmorph2

Favosite Coral Reveals Horizontal "Tabulate" Growth Layers

Favosite Coral Revealing Inner Growth Layers

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “What is a favosite?

  1. Common Name: Coral Scientific Name: Favosite, cervicona (above)

    Kingdom: Animal

    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:cericona (above)

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