Experiments in DIY Fluorescent Microscopy with Lophamplexus westii Thin Sections from the Pennsylvanian Bond Formation of Illinois
A stream cut behind a cemetery in Edgar County, Illinois exposes the fossiliferous Late Pennsylvanian Bond formation, Livingston Limestone member (correlative to the LaSalle Limestone in NW Illinois). This places it in the Kasimovian Stage, 303- 307Mya. This locality is a marine deposit dominated by brachiopods, crinoid columnals and rugose corals. The goal here was to obtain samples of rugose corals to attempt basement lab thin sectioning and analysis under a homemade fluorescent microscope. Four samples were destroyed in the difficult and time-consuming thin sectioning process, however one Lophamplexus westii sample beautifully survived; the results of which you see here. There are four species of solitary rugose corals found at this locality, however to accurately identify down to the species level, it is necessary to make thin sections to observe internal structure. L. westii has similar external morphology as Lophophillidium proliferum in that both corallites have cylindrical shape in mature regions and conical in early stages. Mature specimens show curvature usually beginning after the first rejuvenation.