A diverse, well-preserved assemblage of nautiloid cephalopods was collected from the Treptoceras duseri shale, a 1.5-m-thick claystone within the Waynesville Formation (Late Ordovician, early Richmondian) exposed in southwest Ohio. The strata, the enclosed fauna, and its taphonomy indicate deposition in a low-energy, mud-bottom marine environment, in water depths of 20–25 m, below wave base but within the zone of storm-current reworking.
Nautiloid specimens consist of complete conchs that have been replaced by calcite. Twelve species of nautiloids, belonging to eight genera, representative of four orders, have been collected from the shale in southwest Ohio. Longiconic orthocones are clearly the dominant nautiloid morphotype present, with the assemblage dominated by three species of the longiconic orthocerid Treptoceras and with fewer numbers of the endocerid Cameroceras and the slender orthocerid Isorthoceras?, the cyrtoconic oncocerids Oncoceras and Manitoulinoceras, and rare specimens of the orthocerid Gorbyoceras, the oncocerid Zittelloceras, and the ascocerid Schuchertoceras.
Nautiloid taphonomy, the diversity of nautiloid taxa present, the lack of postmortem buoyancy in the shells of the more common taxa, the recurrent nature of this assemblage, and the restricted distribution of this Treptoceras–Cameroceras fauna to portions of eastern North America in the Late Ordovician suggest that this nautiloid assemblage represents an in-situ accumulation of nautiloids representative of a living assemblage. These nautiloids were important elements associated with benthic communities in these epeiric sea mud-bottom environments and not simply assemblages of drifted, necroplanktonic shells.