Abstract

Vermiforma antiquaCloud 1976, once celebrated as the earliest animal fossil of the United States, is actually a tectonic artifact. The main argument is that the congruence and equal orientation of multiple patterns on the same bedding plane are incompatible with swaying worm bodies or worm burrows. As shown by analog and numerical simulations, these structures can be explained as tracks of particles that broke out from the base of an overlying turbidite and became rolled between beds during bed-to-bed shearing.

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