ABSTRACT

The Aptian Crato Konservat-Lagerstätte is renowned for its exceptionally preserved fossils in lacustrine laminated limestones. Although previous works on this site include numerous taxonomic studies, its taphonomy remains a subject of debate. Herein, we present new data on the taphonomy of decapod crustaceans preserved in wrinkle laminites, highlighting the role of microbial mats in enhancing fossil preservation. Our results suggest that benthic microorganisms may have promoted protection and organic mineralization of some of the allochthonous to parautochthonous organic remains within the microbial laminites of the Crato lake. Overall, this work provides the first empirical evidence that the preservational pathways of the fossils in the Crato Konservat-Lagerstätte involved microbial mats.

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