Abstract

Several specimens of the gigantic new species, Wewokella costata, have been recovered from the Upper Mississippian Hartselle Sandstone of Marshall County, east of Huntsville, in northeastern Alabama. The large sponges have flutted columnar growths and basic skeletons of triactines that are grossly encrusted or overgrown by calcium carbonate to produce massive fused skeletons. These are the oldest and largest specimens of Wewokella yet certainly identified. Wewokella costata has a skeleton with reduced numbers of triactines, but with extensive calcareous cement. The species could be in the lineage leading to the Inozoida Rigby and Senowbari-Daryan, 1996, which have spicule-free skeletons of sphaeroidal aragonite.

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