Large slab of microbial/stromatolite mat with trace fossil “feeding” trackway.
Slab size: 46” across at widest point (116.8 cm.), 38” tall (96.5 cm.)
Bellerphon trackway: 40” (101.6 cm.) long and 2” (5 cm.) wide
The pattern of the microbial/stromatolite mat that formed this fossil stone was created by the earliest type of prehistoric life on planet Earth. These primitive eco-systems were a dense population of micro-organisms colonizing in a thin mat on fine-grained beach sand in shallow water. The mat was both the cause and the protective agent which formed and preserved the unique pattern seen on this stone. This thin mat also became the basis for stromatolites, a colonizing cyanobacteria that populated vast areas of the earth throughout the geological record. These stromatolites were instrumental in producing the oxygen we breathe today. Living stromatolites are still found in a few remote locations throughout the world.
To create this geological mystery, the microbial mat formed quickly, adhering to the tidal ripples in the sand. Not only did it frequently preserve the tidal ripples, it contorted the beach sand by adding its own distinct footprint. This is seldom seen to this extent in the geological strata and it remains a scientific anomaly.
Traversing across the center of the slab is a magnificent feeding trackway, most likely formed by a Pennsylvanian Bellerphon (giant slug-like snail). This trackway is over 40” (101.6 cm.) long and 2” (5 cm.) wide and is extremely well defined.