Boxley Aggregates today displayed the rare intact head of a stromatolite found last month in the Blue Ridge quarry operation. It looks like a turtle shell.
Matter of fact, that is what Richard Benge the operator of the loader working in the quarry thought it was when he dug the fossil out of the cliff side. Ions ago the sea coast of Virginia was along the ridges of mountains in our area.
“Stromatolites were among the first single cell life forms blue green algae and they ived in a colony,” explained Dr. James Beard of the Virginia Museum of Natural History where the fossil is headed. When we first saw this last week, we were flabbergasted.” He said prior to their development the atmosphere was carbon dioxide and they actually oxygenated the earth.
Dr. Tim Gette, Director of the VMNH, said the museum is in process of building a mount for the fossil to sit upon and then will move it the museum located in Martinsville for their “Uncovering Virginia” exhibit.
“It is 150 million years older than anything we have on display from the area,” he said.
Bill Hamlin a VP with Boxley said it seemed the right thing to do to send the two ton fossil to Martinsville to be on permanent display.
Boxley Geologist Tim Roller said they had found pieces before, but this is the first intact find of a Stromatolite on their property. A quarry has been operated there since 1917.
Bill Hamlin and Cline Dooley both of Boxley’s quarry operation pose with the Stromatolite fossil of an algae colony.
The fossil and its top surface.
We had a previous post about the quarry find on June 28.