New Fossil Named after the Kentucky Paleontological Society

The KPS, on one of its monthly field trips, visited some outcrops in west-central Kentucky. These roadcuts exposed the Mississippian Borden Formation. On two of the cuts, large edrioasteroids (more than 2 inches in diameter) were discovered and collected along with some different smaller specimens. We realized the importance of this find when we searched the literature and found no matches. Therefore, our club donated these specimens to the Cincinnati Museum Center. They had just hired a new curator of invertebrate paleontology (Colin Sumrall) who had previous experience in describing edrioasteroids. He was very interested in these new specimens. Our club returned to the site with Colin and helped him gather paleoecological data and collect more specimens. Colin's paper, published in the January 2001 issue of Journal of Paleontology (pages 136-146), describes 2 new edrioasteroids. In fact, they are illustrated on the cover of that issue. The first one is a new genus called Torquerisediscus kypsi (named in recognition of the KPS). The second one is a new species called Ulrichidiscus spinosus.

These are important new fossils. The KPS highly encourages donation to scientific institutions of scientifically important finds. Professional paleontologists do not have the means to search everywhere for new fossils. Amateurs and amateur societies play an important role as the "eyes in the field." The photos illustrated are not the publication photos, but rather are pre-donation photos of the unprepared specimens. Specimens 4 and 5 were found after the publication.