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

Yoshitaka Kakuwa, James D. Floyd

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-10
    Number of pages10
    JournalEarth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
    Early online date18 Jul 2017
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jul 2017


    • benthic animals
    • biodiversification
    • colonisation
    • Darriwilian
    • Iapetus Ocean
    • pelagic realm

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Environmental Science(all)
    • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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