Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An erect, spiral, gigantic fossil found in great numbers in the Arikaree sands (Loup Fork Tertiary) of northwestern Nebraska, chiefly in Sioux county, and also in eastern Wyoming and southern South Dakota. These anomalous fossils, thought by some to represent the burrows of tertiary rodents, consist throughout of intertwining plant fibers of roots of varying size, which, in section, invariably yield perfectly preserved plant-tissue, a fact which led the discoverer to assign them to the vegetable kingdom. Though of diverse form and varying size, two principal kinds are conspicuous, the one with, the other without, an axis. Daimonelix, though known for years to the cowboys and ranchmen as the devil's corkscrew, was first definitely described by Erwin H. Barbour, State geologist of Nebraska, in 1891. Collections of specimens are now to be found in the large museums of the United States, notably that of the University of Nebraska, the Field Columbian Museum, the Carnegie Museum, and the United States National Museum.
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