This essay functions to consider the Ordovician sea life in the state of Ohio. In developing this examination it presents a brief investigation into the geological and general scientific elements related to the Ordovician period, and then investigates the sea life that existed during this time. Ordovician Background The Ordovician period is a categorical definition of a period in geologic history. It roughly covers the time between 488 and 443 million years ago and falls within the Paleozoic Era. The period itself was named after a Celtic tribe of the Ordovices and gained its definition in the 19th century. The period itself is recognized as starting during the Cambrian-Ordovician extinction events. In total the period lasted for approximately 44.6 million years and concluded with the onset of the Ordovician-Silurian extinction event, which distinguishes nearly 60% of marine genera (Moore, Teichert 1978). These dates and distinguishing elements represent slight estimations, as they shift occasionally with the discovery of new radiometric patterns; the exact time period differs as sources disagree over various data elements. Within the Ordovician period there are a great many subdivisions, as distinguished by the years in which they occurred. One of the primary concerns of this era is in relation to paleogeography. Paleogeography indicates that during this period sea levels were generally high (Moore and Teichert 1978). Indeed, it’s been noted that the Ordovician period witnessed the As one later considers the Ordovician period in terms of the state of Ohio they will recognize that sea level and continent positioning was drastically different. During this period the southern area continents were part of one whole referred to as Gondwana. In addition to Gondwana there was also the continent of Baltica and Siberia, both which are now parts of present-day northern Europe, but at the time separate entities. In terms of the state of Ohio, the North American content was linked and referred to as Laurentia. There was tremendous geological change during this period, with underwater volcanoes emerging that would go on to form the Appalachian mountain range. Ordovician Life Abundant life emerged during the Cambrian period, and this life carried over to the proceeding Ordovician period. This life evolved and divided into new species many of which existed throughout what would later become the Ohio region. While fossilized sea life has been discovered throughout Ohio, perhaps the most prominent discoveries have come in the southwestern region of the state. It has even jokingly been noted that if one were to remove all of the Ordovician rocks from the Cincinnati area, then the state would once again fall below sea level. While there are a variety of sea life fossils that have been discovered in Ohio, scientists have identified a number as the most prominent. One of the most prominent such sea life fossils in Ohio are bryozoans. It’s been indicated that these animals, “lived in branching, treelike colonies or flattened, encrusting masses on shells of other invertebrates. In some areas bryozoans litter the outcrop. Brachiopods are no less spectacularly abundant than bryozoans and are a favorite of the beginning collector. They range in size from tiny species to the walnut-sized Platystrophia ponderosa“
Ordovician Life in Ohio One of the most notable elements in the state of Ohio are sea life fossils that existed during the Ordovician period. As is well recognized during this geologic period the Ohio was at the bottom of the ocean and its present day geological elements represent fossilized remains of this seafloor period…
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