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Temporal range: Carboniferous - L Permian
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Cephalopoda
Subclass: Nautiloidea
Order: Orthocerida
Family: Kionoceratidae
Genus: Thoracoceras
Sweet, 1964

Thoracoceras is an extinct genus of orthocerids from the family Kionoceratidae characterized by orthoconic shells marked by prominent longitudinal rounded grooves separated by angular ridges, each which has a single row of blunt spines along its apex, and having a small submarginal siphuncle.

Orthocerida order of molluscs

Orthocerida is an order of extinct Orthoceratoid cephalopods also known as the Michelinocerda that lived from the Early Ordovician possibly to the Late Triassic. A fossil found in the Caucasus suggests they may even have survived until the Early Cretaceous. They were most common however from the Ordovician to the Devonian.

Kionoceratidae is a family in the Orthocerida, proposed by Hyatt in 1900 for genera characterized by prominent ornamentation in the form of longitudinal ribs, ridges, or lirae, or combinations thereof, sometimes with similar transverse ornament or faint transverse annulations.


The siphuncle is a strand of tissue passing longitudinally through the shell of a cephalopod mollusk. Only cephalopods with chambered shells have siphuncles, such as the extinct ammonites and belemnites, and the living nautiluses, cuttlefish, and Spirula. In the case of the cuttlefish, the siphuncle is indistinct and connects all the small chambers of that animal's highly modified shell; in the other cephalopods it is thread-like and passes through small openings in the walls dividing the chambers.

Thoracoceras, named by Fischer De Waldheim in 1844, is found in Carboniferous and Lower Permian sediments in the U.S., Europe, and Russia. It is closely related to Kionoceras , Ohioceras , and Polygrammoceras

The Carboniferous is a geologic period and system that spans 60 million years from the end of the Devonian Period 358.9 million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Permian Period, 298.9 Mya. The name Carboniferous means "coal-bearing" and derives from the Latin words carbō ("coal") and ferō, and was coined by geologists William Conybeare and William Phillips in 1822.

The Permian is a geologic period and system which spans 47 million years from the end of the Carboniferous Period 298.9 million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Triassic period 251.902 Mya. It is the last period of the Paleozoic era; the following Triassic period belongs to the Mesozoic era. The concept of the Permian was introduced in 1841 by geologist Sir Roderick Murchison, who named it after the city of Perm.

Sedimentary rock Rock formed by the deposition and subsequent cementation of material

Sedimentary rocks are types of rock that are formed by the deposition and subsequent cementation of mineral or organic particles on the floor of oceans or other bodies of water at the Earth's surface. Sedimentation is the collective name for processes that cause these particles to settle in place. The particles that form a sedimentary rock are called sediment, and may be composed of geological detritus (minerals) or biological detritus. Before being deposited, the geological detritus was formed by weathering and erosion from the source area, and then transported to the place of deposition by water, wind, ice, mass movement or glaciers, which are called agents of denudation. Biological detritus was formed by bodies and parts of dead aquatic organisms, as well as their fecal mass, suspended in water and slowly piling up on the floor of water bodies. Sedimentation may also occur as dissolved minerals precipitate from water solution.

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