Sloans Valley Member (Paragon Formation) of Kentucky: Macrofauna

by Don Chesnut (chesnut<at>
©DRC 2014


The Mississippian-age Sloans Valley Member is generally a highly fossiliferous shale found at the base of the Paragon Formation. It is composed of interbedded calcareous shale and argillaceous limestone. The member was informally named by Chesnut and Ettensohn (1988)(and later formally named) for historically famous railroad outcrops near Sloans Valley, Pulaski County, Kentucky. The Sloans Valley is found along the western belt of outcrop in eastern and south-central Kentucky, but equivalent shale beds are found in western Kentucky Indiana, Illinois and Tennessee where it is sometimes called the upper Glen Dean Limestone. The Sloans Valley Member is age equivalent to the Middle Chesterian Glen Deam Limestone of the Mid-Continent region of the United States and upper Visťan of Europe (Greb and Chesnut, 2009).

More detailed information about the Sloans Valley Member can be found in Chesnut and Ettensohn (1988).


Identified macrofauna from the Sloans Valley Member include vertebrates, echinoderms, mollusks, brachiopods, bryozoans, cnidarians, poriferans and arthropods. Most abundant are the echinoderms, brachiopods and bryozoans. Wing-plates of the crinoid Pterotocrinus, and crowns of the crinoid Phanocrinusthe brachiopods Anthracospirifer, Cleiothyridina and Composita as well as fenestellid and ramose bryozoans are especially abundant. See the following categories for more information.