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Horn Coral Paleozoic Reef Builder

horn coral

Horn corals get their name from their shape. They grow in a long curved cone shape like a bulls horn. Like modern colonial corals they belong to the phylum of animals called cnidaria. Jellyfish are another member of this phylum. Some horn coral may have had stinging cells like jellyfish to help them catch their prey.

They make up the order of corals called Rugosa. Rugose means wrinkled. The outside of these coral fossils have a wrinkled appearance. When the horn coral was alive it built its skeleton from calcium carbonate. That is the part of the animal that fossilizes. The coral animal is called a polyp. The polyp lived at the top of the cone. as the polyp grew it added a new larger section on to its skeleton.

The polyp had long tentacles sticking out of the top of the cone. They used the tentacles to catch food (plankton) that floated by. The tentacles gave the horn coral a flower like appearance.

The first horn corals appeared during the Ordovician Period. All through the Paleozoic Era they grew in great numbers creating huge reefs. There were many different species ranging in size from less than an inch to almost 3 feet in length. All horn corals became extinct at the end of the Paleozoic Era in the Great Permian extinction.

We have many different species of horn coral for sale here at Below is a list of them. You can click on a name to go to the page where you will find that fossil for sale.

Triplophylites horn coral

Triplophylites For Sale

Lophophyllidium proliferum For Sale

Lophophyllidium spinosum For Sale

Amplexi zaphrentis For Sale

Grewingkia rustica For Sale

Horn Coral For Sale

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