Temporal range: Carboniferous–Permian
|Fossilized skeleton of Archimedes Bryozoan.|
Archimedipora d'Orbigny, 1849
Archimedes, named for Archimedes' screw, is a genus of Bryozoan known in the rock record from the Carboniferous to the Permian periods, when it became extinct. The first use of the term "Archimedes" in relation to this genus was in 1838. The majority of these fossils are distributed throughout Europe and North America. The live creature had a delicate calcareous lattice structure  representative of fenestrate growth forms, but in most fossils these latices have been destroyed, leaving only the spiral backbone.
This particular type is known as Archimedes because of its screw shape, an analogy which should be obvious to anyone who has heard of the Archimedes' screw, a type of water pump which inspired modern ship propellers. Archimedes forms are pretty common as fossils but have been extinct since the Triassic.
In life the individual animals, "Zooids", formed sheets that were attached to the central skeletal structure shown here. The whole structure would be attached to the seafloor or a shell.
- Col, Jeananda, 'Archimedes', Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary, 1996, accessed March 8, 2011
- Duncan, Helen M. and W.H. Easton. "Archimedes and its Genotype." Journal of Paleontology. SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology. Vol. 27, No. 5 (Sep., 1953), pp. 737–741.
- Arduini, Paolo. Simon & Schuster's Guide to Fossils, 1986, p. 33
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