By far, the
largest project in the Fort Apache Limestone series! We found
more tiny gastropods than any other type of fossils in the acid
fines. Literally thousands and thousands of pinhead sized gastropods
and monoplacophorans were found, and after months of picking
through the residues, we had several teaspoons of the microscopic
fossils. The sorting process took weeks and we decided to sort
them according to morphological type. This yielded 22 different
varieties, some of which may have been duplicates that were preserved
different or incompletely. Fortunately for us, Winters in his
huge GSA 89 monograph identified scores of gastropods making
many of the identifications possible for us. We also found several
types which he did not show or mention.
that can be drawn from our gastropods is still clear - a very
muddy bottom which preserved huge numbers of juveniles either
because of inclement conditions for their survival or a high
mortality rate. The preservation ranges from very poor to superb.
Many of the smallest fossils show amazing details in their outer
shells and large numbers of ornamented types were uncovered.
The most common type was the small squat cones, ten times more
common than any other type. They were also the very smallest
to be found as well.