A fossil of an ancient organism has paleontologists particularly perplexed. The fossil is from a 450-million-year-old biological something-or-other – an animal or plant from what is now Cincinnati, Ohio. This large mystery fossil, dubbed “Godzillus,” measures in total 6 feet by 3 feet, and at 150 pounds, it could be almost any massive ancient “thing” from an era when Kentucky and Ohio were submerged under water. The fossil was discovered last year in Kentucky by amateur paleontologist Ron Fine, a member of the Dry Dredgers, a society of amateurs based at the University of Cincinnati. According to David Meyer, a geology professor at UC, although Godzillus does show a pattern similar to that of fossil scales, it was not a fish because there is no evidence of bones. It could be an ancient sponge, similar to other fossils that have been found from the era in the Cincinnati region. Or perhaps it’s a form of seaweed or kelp. The fossil is the largest ever found in that region from the Ordovician Period, which lasted from 510 to 438 million years ago. During this period, there was a mass extinction that wiped out over 100 families of invertebrates living in the seas.The Cincinnati region bears the evidence of many of these extinct creatures as fossils that are still being discovered today.

Find out more about Godzillus at StarTribune.

Read more about the Ordovician mass extinction.

Published On: June 26, 2012

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