Abstract

A new component of the Early Palaeozoic arthropod fauna is described from a monospecific accumulate of carapaces in a Late Ordovician (Katian) hemipelagic mudstone from the Cardigan district of southwest Wales (UK). Its non-biomineralized carapace is preserved as a carbonaceous residue, as is more labile anatomy (soft-parts) including the inner lamella and sub-ovate structures near its antero-dorsal margin, which we interpret to be putative eyes. The depositional context and associated fauna indicate that the arthropods inhabited an area of deep water and high primary productivity above a pronounced submarine topography. The preserved density of carapaces suggests the arthropods may have congregated into shoals or been transported post-mortem into depressions which acted as detritus traps. The accumulate provides a rare example of soft-part preservation in hemipelagic mudstones and highlights the role of organic material as a locus for authigenic mineralization during metamorphism.

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