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Turritella Agate

Turritella Agate—The Name Is False!


Turritella agate is found in Sweetwater  County, Wyoming and around Superior and Wamsutter, Wyoming too.


The little snail that inhabited the shell lived in the Eocene, about 40 million

years ago.  These fossils were not laid down in a sea, but in a fresh-water lake. The shell is highly silicified, more so than the brown matrix from which they can be etched. Whoever named this agate only knew that the sea snail Turritella had a high spiral shell. He jumped right in with this name without bothering to check the species out. The name has stuck, causing many people to be misled. These fossils are not even in

the Turritella family; the true name is Oxyterma genera. A few years ago

this species was known as Goniobasis genera, but further research caused the additional name change. You better check your collection right now and perhaps bring your identification up-to-date with the correct name on the beautiful little gastropod.

Via MAPS Digest (Mid America Paleontological Society)

and other newsletters, via Stoney Statements 5/15

Borrowed from The Fredricksburg rockhound newsletter.