Abstract

Enigmatic and heterogeneously deformed burrows are described from the Cambrian?–Early Ordovician Meguma Group of Nova Scotia. Because of their morphological variability and the absence of previously defined morphotypes, the burrows are unnamed yet do provide a cautionary note to the naming of trace fossils, even at the ichnogeneric level, by ichnologists. The traces record the activity of unknown and mobile deposit-feeding organisms that inhabited interchannel or levee areas immediately adjacent to and up to 5 m laterally from a 2 m deep channel developed on a deep-sea, mid–outer submarine-fan complex. Many of the vertically to subvertically oriented systems penetrate up to 40 cm, suggesting that existing models on the depth of early Palaeozoic benthic boundary layers obtained from shelf environments must be utilized with caution.

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