Chonetes maclurea Norwood and Pratten

This extinct invertebrate is unique in two ways: first, its name involves three New Harmony geologists: William Maclure, Joseph Granville Norwood, and Henry Pratten; second, of all the type specimens in Norwood's Illinois State Collection, developed while he was the first state geologist of Illinois, with headquarters initially in New Harmony, the specimen shown here appears to be the sole survivor.

The species is first described in

J. G. Norwood and H. Pratten "Notice of the Genus Chonetes, as found in the western states and territories, with descriptions of eleven new species," Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 3 (1854) 23-70.

On page 28, following the description, the authors announce: "We have great satisfaction in being able to dedicate this beautiful species to the memory of William Maclure, the munificent patron of science, and the father of American geology."

The specimen, catalogued as ISGS (ISM) 4571-1, reposes in the Illinois State Geological Survey's Paleontological Collections. The photograph was taken by Joel Dexter, ISGS, and provided courtesy of Rodney D. Norby, ISGS.

In modern systematic taxonomy, this species is assigned to the genus Devonochonetes, so that the full designation is Devonochonetes maclurea (Norwood and Pratten). (When a species is assigned to a different genus-name, the original author-names are placed in parentheses.)

Norwood and Pratten found the specimen shown here at Devil's Backbone, an outcrop of Devonian limestone along the Mississippi River near Grand Tower, Illinois.

New Harmony Scientists, Educators, Writers & Artists
Clark Kimberling Home Page