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Due to a USF scheduling conflict, our December meeting this year will be held on the second Saturday of the month, December 13, 2014.

ECHINOIDS AT VULCAN MINE

Echinoids are a class of echinoderms which includes the creatures commonly known as sea urchins, sand dollars and sea biscuits. Echinoids are found in deposits of any age in Florida. The ones found at Vulcan are from the Oligocene Suwannee Limestone and are around 30 million years old.

Top and bottom photos of phymotaxis mansfieldi

Phymotaxis mansfieldi This beautiful sea urchin is reasonably common, but it is always a goodz day at the mine if you find a nice one. They can be anywhere from .5 to 2 inches across.

Top and bottom photos of gagaria mossomi

Gagaria mossomi This urchin is less common than the Phymotaxis and tends to be smaller, but not always.

Top and bottom photos of clypeaster rogersi

Clypeaster rogersi In some places in the mine these sand dollars have been reasonably common, but in general they are not. There is probably more than one species found at Vulcan. Oligocene Clypeasters can be as small as .5 inch or as much as 4 or 5 inches across.

Top and bottom photos of rhyncholampas gouldi

Rhyncholampas gouldi This sea biscuit is by far the most common echinoid at Vulcan Mine, everyone finds a bucketful. They range in size from .5 inch to 2 inches across. Kinds of Rhyncholampas can be found in deposits of almost any age in Florida, but they are never as plentiful as in Suwannee Limestone.

Top and bottom photos of schizaster americanus

Schizaster americanus This is a type of sea biscuit that is sometimes called a "heart urchin". This species is quite rare at Vulcan. It is usually less than an inch across.

Top and bottom photos of agassizia mossomi

Agassizia mossomi A very time sea biscuit that is also quite rare. About .5 inch across.