Abstract

The middle Silurian Eramosa Lagerstätte of Ontario, Canada, preserves taxonomically and taphonomically diverse biotas including articulated conodont skeletons and heterostracan fish, annelids and arthropods with soft body parts, and a diverse marine flora. Soft tissues are preserved as calcium phosphate and carbon films, the latter possibly stabilized by early diagenetic sulfurization. It is significant that the biotas also include a decalcified, autochthonous shelly marine fauna, and trace fossils. This association of exceptionally preserved and more typical fossils distinguishes the Eramosa from other Silurian shallow-marine Lagerstätten, such as the Waukesha Lagerstätte, and suggests that the Eramosa is not the product of exceptional preservation in an atypical environment, a bias claimed for many post-Cambrian Lagerstätten. The Eramosa Lagerstätte may provide a more reliable, balanced measure of what has been lost from the Silurian fossil record.

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