Skip to main content Accessibility help

Wewokella costata new species, a large heteractinid calcareous sponge from the upper Mississippian Hartselle sandstone in Northeastern Alabama

  • J. Keith Rigby (a1) and Richard Keyes (a2)


Several specimens of the gigantic new species, Wewokella costata, have been recovered from the Upper Missisippian 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.



Hide All
Bowerbank, J. S. 1864. A monograph of British Spongiadae. Part 1, 290 p., Part 2, 398 p., Royal Society of London.
Croneis, D., and Toomey, D. F. 1965. Gunsight (Virgillian) wewokellid sponges and their deposition environment. Journal of Paleontology, 39:116.
Fromentel, E. De. 1859. Introduction a l'Etude des Éponges fossiles. Memoire Societe Linnéene de Normandie, Caen, 11:150.
Fromentel, E. De. 1861. Catalogue raisonné des Spongitaries de l'étage Néocomien. Bulletin de la Societé d’ Histoirie Naturelle de l'Yonne, Series 4, 14:355372.
Girty, G. H. 1911. On some new genera and species of Pennsylvanian fossils from the Wewoka Formation of Oklahoma. Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 21:119156.
Girty, G. H. 1915. Fauna of the Wewoka Formation of Oklahoma. U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin, 544, 353 p.
Hinde, G. J. 1893. A monograph of the British fossil sponges. Palaeontographical Society of London, Part II, p. 189254.
Hoare, R. D., and Sturgeon, M. T. 1968. The genus Wewokella (Porifera) in the Pennsylvanian of Ohio. Journal of Paleontology, 42:8183.
King, R. H. 1943. New Carboniferous and Permian sponges. Geological Survey of Kansas Bulletin, 47:136.
Kirkpatrick, R. 1908. On two new genera of Recent pharetronid sponges. Annales and Magazine of Natural History, 2:503514.
de Laubenfels, M. W. 1955. Porifera, p. E21E112. In Moore, R. C. (ed.), Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part E. Archaeocyatha and Porifera, Geological Society of America and University of Kansas Press, Lawrence.
Miller, S. A. 1889. North American Geology and Paleontology. Published by the author, Cincinnati, 664 p.
Rigby, J. K. 1978. Two wewokellid calcareous sponges in North America. Journal of Paleontology, 52:705716.
Rigby, J. K. 1983. Heteractinida, p. 7089. In Broadhead, T. W., (ed.), Sponges and Spongiomorphs: Notes for a Short Course, organized by Rigby, J. K. and Stearn, C. W., University of Tennessee Department of Geological Sciences, Studies in Geology 7.
Rigby, J. K. 1986. Sponges of the Burgess Shale (Middle Cambrian), British Columbia. Palaeontographica Canadiana, Number 2, 105 p.
Rigby, J. K. 1991. Evolution of Paleozoic heteractinid calcareous sponges and demosponges-patterns and records, p. 83101. In Reitner, J. and Keupp, H., (eds.), Fossil and Recent Sponges. Springer-Verlag, Berlin and Heidelburg.
Rigby, J. K., and Church, S. B. 1993. Wewokella and other sponges from the Pennsylvanian Minturn Formation of north-central Colorado. Journal of Paleontology, 67:909916.
Rigby, J. K., and Moyle, R. W. 1959. Some Mississippian and Pennsylvanian sponges from Utah. Journal of Paleontology, 33:399403.
Rigby, J. K., and Senowbari-Daryan, B. 1996. Upper Permian inozoid, demospongid and hexactinellid sponges from Djebel Tebaga, Tunisia. The University of Kansas Paleontological Contributions, New Series. Number 7, 130 p.
Roemer, F. 1860. Die Silurischen Fauna des westlichen Tennessee, ein palaeontologische Monographie. Breslau, 100 p.
Smith, E. A. 1894. Geological map of Alabama, with explanatory chart. Geological Survey of Alabama, Montgomery.
Welch, S. W. 1958. Stratigraphy of Upper Mississippian rocks above the Tuscumbia Limestone in northern Alabama and northeastern Mississippi. U.S. Geological Survey Oil and Gas Investigation Chart OC 58.
Welch, S. W. 1984. Skeletal and spicular mineralogy, microstructure and diagenesis of coralline calcareous sponges. Palaeontographica Americana, 54:326336.
Wendt, J. 1990. Corals and coralline sponges, p. 4567. In Carter, J. G., (ed.), Skeletal Biomineralization: Patterns, Processes and Evolutionary Trends, 1. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.
Ziegler, B., and Rietschel, S. 1970. Phylogenetic relationships of fossil calcisponges, p. 2340. In Fry, W. G. (ed.), The Biology of the Porifera, Zoological Society of London, Symposium 25.
Zittel, K. A. 1878. Studien über fossile Spongien, zweiter Abteilung. Lithistidae; Dritte Abteilung. Monactinellidae, Tetractinellidae und Calcispongiae. Abhandlungen der Königlich Bayerischen Akademie Wissenschaften Mathematische-Physikalischen Klasse, 2:1138.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Wewokella costata new species, a large heteractinid calcareous sponge from the upper Mississippian Hartselle sandstone in Northeastern Alabama

  • J. Keith Rigby (a1) and Richard Keyes (a2)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.