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

Yoshitaka Kakuwa*, James D. Floyd

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    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)13-22
    Number of pages10
    JournalEarth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2017


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

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Environmental Science
    • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


    Dive into the research topics of 'Trace fossils in Ordovician radiolarian chert successions in the Southern Uplands, Scotland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this