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Welsh gold; a new exceptionally preserved pyritized Ordovician biota

Joseph P. Botting, Lucy A. Muir, Mark D. Sutton and Talfan Barnie
Welsh gold; a new exceptionally preserved pyritized Ordovician biota
Geology (Boulder) (September 2011) 39 (9): 879-882


Few Konservat-Lagerstatten are known from the Ordovician, and most preserve atypical marginal marine communities. Thus, we have little idea of how animals with a low preservation potential evolved during the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event. Here we report the newly discovered Llanfawr Mudstones Lagerstatte from the basal Sandbian (Late Ordovician) of central Wales, UK. This biota, which has been studied through X-ray radiography and microtomography, is dominated by sponges. It also includes cnidarians (the oldest known solitary hydroid), arthropods, priapulids, various worm-like forms, entoproct-like organisms, and a variety of enigmatic fossils. The fauna includes taxa that are rarely preserved even in exceptional fossil biotas, and offers the potential for a new perspective on Ordovician ecosystems. The dominantly filter-feeding assemblage resembles modern abyssal sponge-dominated communities, although it was formed in much shallower water. The unusual Llanfawr Mudstones fauna shows that Ordovician ecological development was considerably more advanced in offshore environments than the mineralized fossil record implies.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 39
Serial Issue: 9
Title: Welsh gold; a new exceptionally preserved pyritized Ordovician biota
Affiliation: Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Nanjing, China
Pages: 879-882
Published: 201109
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 29
Accession Number: 2011-080437
Categories: Stratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
N52°30'00" - N53°00'00", W04°10'00" - W03°15'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Imperial College, GBR, United KingdomUniversity of Cambridge, GBR, United Kingdom
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201144
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