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> Mazon Creek Animals

Mazon Creek Animals

Animal Family Tree
Zoom in on Animal Family Tree Family Tree of Mazon Creek Animals
The Mazon Creek fauna is extremely diverse. According to Nitecki (1979) more than 320 species of animal have been identified (or originally described) from the deposit.

Scientists studying the fauna have divided it into two components. These are the Essex and Braidwood faunas. The Essex fauna contains the marine organisms that would have lived in the shallow bays. The Essex fauna includes such animals as jellyfish, worms, snails, clams, shrimp, and fish.

The Braidwood fauna consists of land and freshwater-dwelling organisms that washed into the bays. The Braidwood fauna includes insects, millipedes, centipedes, scorpions, spiders, spider relatives, amphibians, freshwater fish, shrimps, freshwater horseshoe crabs, and ostracodes.

The following Web pages discuss the fossil animals in the following categories with fossil examples:

    Cnidarians - jellyfishes, corals, sea anemones, and hydroids
    Annelids - worms
    Arthropods -
      crustaceans (shrimp, crayfish, lobsters, crabs, barnacles, and sowbugs),
      chelicerates (horseshoe crabs, sea scorpions, scorpions, spiders, and mites),
      myriapods (centipedes and millipedes),
      insects (dragonflies)

    Molluscs - snails, clams, squid, and chitons
    Chordates - fish
    Tullimonstrum gregarium - this soft-bodied animal has not been classified and is unique to the Mazon Creek localities.


Copyright 2003, Illinois State Museum Society