In this April 20, 2012, photo, David Meyer, a professor of geology at the University of Cincinnati, holds a lobe of a fossil at Caster Library on the campus in Cincinnati. Experts in the U.S. are trying to figure out what the 450 million-year-old fossil dubbed “Godzillus” used to be. The 150-pound fossil recovered last year in Kentucky by amateur paleontologist Ron Fine is more than 6 feet long. AP Photo/The Cincinnati Enquirer, Gary Landers
DAYTON, Ohio (AP)—Experts are trying to figure out what a fossil dubbed “Godzillus” used to be.
150-pound fossil recovered last year in northern Kentucky is more than 6
feet long and 3 feet wide. To the untrained eye, it looks like a bunch
of rocks or a concrete blob. Experts are trying to determine whether it
was an animal, mineral or a form of plant life from a time when the
Cincinnati region was underwater.
Scientists at a Geological Society of America meeting viewed it Tuesday at the Dayton Convention Center in Ohio.
are looking for people who might have an idea of what it is,” said Ben
Dattilo, an assistant professor of geology at Indiana University-Purdue
University Fort Wayne.
say the fossil is 450 million years old. University of Cincinnati
geologist Carl Brett said it’s the largest fossil ever extracted from
that era in the Cincinnati region.
is the ultimate cold case,” said Ron Fine, the Dayton, Ohio, amateur
paleontologist who spotted the fossil on a hillside last year and gave
it its name.
Godzilla, it’s a primordial beast that found its way to the modern
era,” Fine said. Now 43, he’s been collecting fossils since age 4, and
said he saw part of this one on a hillside off Kentucky 17 nearly a year
“Most fossils around here are small, the size of your thumbnail or your thumb,” he said. “This thing’s huge.”
In this April 20, 2012, photo, amateur paleontologist Ron Fine, of Dayton, Ohio, discusses the fossil he discovered with Carl Brett, center, and Meyer, professors of Geology at the University of Cincinnati, at Caster Library on the campus in Cincinnati. AP Photo/The Cincinnati Enquirer, Gary Landers
He said it could be an early form of seaweed or kelp.
one has us stumped,” said David Meyer, another UC geology professor.
Fine shared his find last September at a meeting of the Dry Dredgers, a
group of amateur geologists.
who wrote a book called “A Sea Without Fish” about the era, said the
fossil has intricate patterns that remind him of “goose flesh. Some of
its surface also looks like scales. But this thing is not boney. It is
not a fish.”
He guesses it could have been something like a sponge.
“Cincinnati was covered by a sea, 100 to 200 feet deep,” Meyer said. “Primitive shellfish lived in it. But no fish.”
Source: The Associated Press