Hound Tom McDaniel of Versailles, has finally got his
hands on a rare rock. McDaniels co-worker, Jimmy Richardson,
found the rock which is believed to be from the synapsid reptile
family some 260-280 million years ago.
Richardson discovered the rock about 25 years ago while deer
hunting in Metamora. This past summer, McDaniel traded Richardson
an Indian axe for the rock. We went back and forth for
probably a year, said McDaniel.
McDaniel said he asked Richardson for the rock and he replied,
What do you got? McDaniel told him about the Indian
axe and showed it to Richardson and the trade was eventually
The rock is the first of its kind to be found in Indiana. Early
identification suggest it may be from the synapsid reptile family,
said Indiana State Museum Curator of Geology, Peggy Fisherkeller,
but, more studies need to be done. Similar rocks
of its kind have been discovered in Ohio, Illinois, Oklahoma,
Texas, Europe and Russia.
Synapsids are believed to be a group of animals that included
mammals and everything more closely related to mammals than
to other living amniotes. They are easily separated from other
amniotes by having an opening low in the skull behind each eye
leaving a bony arch beneath each. The numbers and variety of
synapsids survived into the Triassic period.
Originally defined at the turn of the 20th century as one of
the four main subclasses of reptiles, synapsids were considered
to be the reptilian lineage that led to mammals. Synapsids were
known to be sprawling, bulky, cold-blooded creatures with small
McDaniel gave the rock to Fisherkeller to present to the Indiana
State Museum board. I gave it to her and told her I wanted
to donate it to the museum for future studies, McDaniel
told The Versailles Republican. Two men along with Fisherkeller
actually came down to the site where the rock was found in the
process of identifying it.
The rock is in the hands of the Indiana State Museum. Its
really, really interesting, said Fisherkeller. The rock
is currently not on display at the museum but Fisherkeller hopes
to have experts to take a look at the rock and identify it.
McDaniel described the people he has worked with at the museum
as super nice and encourages everyone to visit the
museum where you can be a part of the history of Indiana.
The Indiana State Museum is located at 650 W. Washington Street
in Indianapolis in the midst of White Water State Park.
McDaniel has lived in the Versailles area for 19 years and is
a modern day toolmaker employed at Batesville Tool and Die.
He is very interested in history and says its exciting
to think about what was before our time.
above is a side view of the rare rock that was found in
Metamora and is now in the hands of the Indiana State
Museum officials in Indianapolis. The rock is also pictured
below from another view.