A very rare occurrence can be found in a unique Cretaceous fossil deposit in North Central Germany. A variety of highly unusual SEA SPONGE FOSSILS dating from a Campanian Era sea of the Cretaceous were preserved in FULL THREE DIMENSIONAL PRESERVATION retaining delicate anatomy seldom seen in prehistoric sponge fossils. The sponges found in this deposit comprise a very diverse breadth of anatomical varieties and nearly 180 different species. The fossils are found embedded in limestone host rock and were dug from subterranean deposits therefore, they were not exposed to the harsh elements and show no typical erosion or degradation of detail like so many sponge fossils of similar 3D preservation. These specific fossil sponges are so bizarre because the best specimens are completely lifelike with full three-dimensional preservation looking as if they were alive seconds ago before being turned to stone. We acquired a limited, old private collection of the finest specimens from the original excavator. When they are all gone, it is doubtful we will ever have this quality of sponge fossils to offer again.
The majority of the sponges we acquired are free from their matrix and show minute surface detail of all relative anatomy including the osculum (little mouth at top where the water was expelled), pores, pustules, bumps, internal chambers when broken, stem, signs of prehistoric predator damage incurred with once alive and in some cases, additional prehistoric life-forms attached to the outer surface. The color is natural white from the limestone with variations due to trace minerals.
Sounds as though they are for sale.
And you were wondering what to get your local science museum for Christmas?
It will be interesting to see whether their internal anatomy is different from that of today’s sponges. Bet not. Some arthropods haven’t changed much either.
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Hat tip: Philip Cunningham