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Trace fossils in Ordovician radiolarian chert successions in the Southern Uplands, Scotland

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 July 2017

Yoshitaka Kakuwa
Affiliation:
Meiji University, 1-1 Kandasurugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8301, Japan. kakuwa@meiji.ac.jp
James D. Floyd
Affiliation:
School of the Built Environment, Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK. J.D.Floyd@hw.ac.uk

Abstract

Radiolarian chert and associated siliceous claystone in the Southern Uplands of Scotland are examined, in order to study the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event of benthic animals on the pelagic ocean bottom. Trace fossils which are uncommon, but convincing, are found in the grey chert and siliceous claystone of Gripps Cleuch. These observations constitute firm evidence that large benthic animals which could leave visible trace fossils had colonised the Iapetan Ocean by the late Middle Ordovician, confirming previous studies from Australia for Panthalassa, the other huge ocean. Red chert is, however, a poor recorder of trace fossils, probably because the highly oxidising environment breaks down organic matter, both inhibiting high-density activity of large benthic animals and removing clear traces of benthic animal life.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Royal Society of Edinburgh 2017 

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