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Pyritized Brachiopod
Sorry, your browser doesn't support Java Pyritized Brachiopod
Brachiopods are a variety of shell fish, long known as 'lamp shells' because they resemble ancient oil lamps. They are commonly found as fossils, but some living varieties still exist. The Brachiopod is also the State Fossil of Kentucky, USA. Most Brachs have a fleshy stalk which attaches them to the bottom. Some Brachiopod shells are made of phosphatic material (eg. Lingula shell), but in most cases their shell is made of the mineral calcite. Rarely, it is an unusual form of calcium carbonate called Aragonite.

We have dug up vast numbers of Brachiopod fossils near our American office in Tennessee from Ordovician, Mississippian, and Pennsylvanian limestone beds. A few of the fossil shells have a beautiful golden covering of Iron Pyrite or fools gold. It either forms on the shell, or it replaces the original calcite. Many Pyritized Brachs have also reacted with oxygen in the ground water, and thus gained a reddish tinge to the gold, as the pyrite was altered to the red mineral Hematite or Iron Oxide.

All experiments to try and duplicate how fossils gain this gold layer or pyritize, have shown it can be an extremely rapid process, particularly for plants which have been easiest to work on. Whenever any pyritized fossil creature shows preservation of its soft inside tissue as well, we know for sure they have been buried extremely rapidly. They were buried in the absence of oxygen, by sediments that were high in concentration of sulphur and iron. In addition, when Brachiopod shells are found in perfect condition, mixed with many other varieties of sea creatures, it is additional proof that the whole deposit was rapidly buried.

Some giant Brachiopods occur in the fossil record, but most living Brachiopods are tiny. About 300 types of Brachs exist today, but fossils show there used to be about 30,000 varieties. Large numbers have become extinct. All this is more evidence the world has gone downhill since God's perfect creation. Devolution, not evolution, is the history of the world. Among living Brachs, the genus Lingula is not only the oldest known Brachiopod on the evolutionary scale, but it's still here and is one of the best evidences evolution is not true. It's a classic 'living fossil' and wonderful evidence that creatures produce their own kind as God said they would, no matter how long they are on the planet.

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