Abstract

Isolated chitinozoans from the Soom Shale Member of the Cedarberg Formation, SW South Africa are described and provide a date of the latest Hirnantian–earliest Rhuddanian. The recovered chitinozoans are typical of the latest Ordovician Spinachitina oulebsiri Biozone, although an earliest Silurian age is possible. They indicate a very short time span (less than 1 Ma) across the Ordovician–Silurian boundary. This is currently the highest biostratigraphical resolution attainable for the Soom Shale Lagerstätte. Correlation of the Soom Shale chitinozoans with identical assemblages in post-glacial, transgressive deposits of Northern Africa is possible; both faunas occur in shales that overlie glacial diamictites of the Hirnantian glaciation. A new species, Spinachitina verniersi n. sp. is described.

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