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STOP 8: WAR MEMORIAL BUILDING SCULPTURE - 101 North Gay Street
Walk east through the War Memorial Plaza and cross Gay Street. At the north and south corners the War Memorial Building there are two large horse statues (Figure 8a).
The base of the statue at the corner of Gay and Fayette Streets contains fossils not often visible in other construction using limestone. The longer wormy-looking fossils are not the fossilized worms themselves, but trace fossils which are evidence of an organism (in this case a worm) that once passed through the rock when it was soft sediment. These marine worms ingested sediment through their digestive system. As the worms burrowed, they removed whatever nutrition was in the material and excreted the rest. The excreted material changed the chemical composition of the soft limey muds such that the path was fossilized, and is commonly called a worm burrow (Figures 8b).
Many other creatures, including molluscs and shrimp, burrow into the sediment for food or shelter. Later when a burrow is filled in with a sediment of contrasting texture, the burrow may be preserved as a trace fossil (Figure 8c).
War Memorial Building and the War Memorial Plaza
101 North Gay St.,
Baltimore, MD 21202
8a: One of two horse statues
made of Indiana Limestone (Stop 8).
8b: A typical worm burrow
in the Indiana Limestone (Stop 8).
8c: A burrow resembling one produced by modern Callianasa, a
burrowing shrimp, in the Indiana Limestone (Stop 8); (Fayette Street
side of the base of the south statue at the War Memorial Building).
This pamphlet was prepared by
Sherry McCann-Murray, with contributions and photography by the Environmental
Geology and Mineral Resources Program of the Maryland Geological Survey.
Adapted for the Internet from Educational Series No. 10. For more information see Building Stones of Maryland .
Compiled by the Maryland Geological Survey, 2300 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, MD 21218
This electronic version of "A Brief Description of the Geology of Maryland " was prepared by Bob Conkwright, Division of Coastal and Estuarine Geology, Maryland Geological Survey. Please send comments on this page to Dale Shelton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
State of Maryland
Department of Natural Resources, Resource Assessment Service