Illinois State Museum

Upland Forest: Animals

Arthropleura in the Pennsylvanian Exhibit
Illinois State Museum

Freshwater fish scales (probably from lungfish and coelacanths) have been found in upland river deposits. Fossils of scorpions (Labriscorpio alliedensis) and fragments of other arthropods, mostly insects, have also been recovered, along with a few reptile bones. Many Pennsylvanian animals were from primitive groups that are now extinct. Others, such as cockroaches, dragonflies, spiders, whip scorpions, mites, springtails, and millipedes, are present today.

Although animal fossils are rare in upland deposits, they are common in wet lowland areas where animal remains were more likely to be fossilized. Since animals move, Changes Institute scientists think that some of these lowland animals also lived in the uplands, but were not commonly fossilized there.

Fossils from upland environments are rare. Illinois is one of the few locations in the world where fossils of upland plants can be found.

A small bay excavated in 1982 at Collinson Quarry, Milan, Illinois