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Uintacrinus socialis. A single Uintacrinus on the lower surface of a slab from the Smoky Hill Chalk Member, Niobrara Formation, Logan County, Kan. The slab is located in the University of Wisconsin Geology Museum. Its calyx (skeletal cover of its body, excluding stems and appendages) measures about 50 millimeters in diameter. One of its arms can reach 1.25 meters in length. Photo by David Meyer, University of Cincinnati. 
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  • Features

  •  A Crinoid Conundrum
    Uintacrinus was a strange crinoid. Unlike its fellow crinoid echinoderms, Uintacrinus had arms that could stretch a meter from its unusually large body. At the same time, past research had suggested the heavy crinoid was pelagic, moving freely through the ocean to gather its food. Here, three researchers suggest that the crinoid could not have lived such a free-floating life. Their evidence comes from slabs containing extremely well-preserved Uintacrinus fossils. But just as they thought they might have solved one Uintacrinus mystery, they have found more in the placements of the well-preserved fossils.

    by David. L. Meyer, Clare V. Milsom, and Andrew J. Webber

    The Aggregate Industry: 
    Present and Future
    Megaquarries are the future of the aggregate industry, says Brian Fowler, a consultant to the aggregate and heavy construction industries. Here, Lawrence Drew, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, interviews Fowler, president of North American Reserve Inc. Fowler sees the demand for aggregate materials increasing along with resistance from the public to open new quarries. Megaquarries, huge quarries serving larger areas than traditional quarries, may become more common, Fowler says. At the same time, he adds, the costs of producing future aggregate supplies will increase.
    by Lawrence Drew

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