Spirifer

Brachiopod

Rhynchonelliform brachiopod Devonian-Permian

A triangular-shaped brachiopod with a long, straight hinge line (2-7 cm in length). The large delthyrium shows that the brachiopod lived attached to the substrate. The fold and sulcus enabled the brachiopod to separate the incoming nutrient-rich water from outgoing waste water. The triangular shape of the brachiopod is related to its internal morphology. The lophophore supports two symmetric spires with an axis parallel to the hinge line. These spiralia allowed the lophophore to filter water from the outside to the inside of the spire.

Permian Coral Reefs

Rhynchonelliform brachiopod Permian

One of the more unusual brachiopods with a coral-like form, approximately 6 cm high. Spines at the apex of the ventral valve rooted the brachiopod in the sediment and also fringe the anterior margin. The dorsal valve is almost circular (about 1.5 cm in diameter) and was recessed into the ventral cone. As with other cone-shaped brachiopods, Prorichthofenia formed reef-like communities.

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