Abstract

A number of putative annelid worms have been described from Ordovician strata, and these records are included in large-scale compilations of paleontological data. If these fossils are worms, they may yield important phylogenetic information; conversely, if they are not worms, they should not be included in large-scale databases. In either case, restudy of the type material of these supposed annelids is useful. The type material (holotype and one paratype) of one of these putative annelids, Haileyia adhaerens Ruedemann, 1934, from the Middle Ordovician Normanskill Shale of Idaho, USA, is re-described and re-illustrated. The original description stated that the species is segmented, with parapodia, papillae, and setae, and lived attached to graptolites. Upon re-examination, the setae could not be detected, and the segmentation, parapodia, and papillae are herein re-interpreted as taphonomic, rather than biological, features. The supposed attachment of Haileyia to graptolites is likely to represent fortuitous bedding-surface associations. There is no evidence that Haileyia adhaerens is an annelid, or even a recognizable fossil.

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