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Pollard et al., 2008

Trace fossils of the arthropod Camptophyllia from the Westphalian (Carboniferous) rocks of Lancashire, UK and their palaeoenvironmental context

Pollard, J., Selden, P., Watts, S.
AjakiriPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
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Two arthropod trace fossils are described and analysed from the Carboniferous Lower Westphalian (C. communis and basal A. modiolaris chronozones) coal-bearing strata of Lancashire. The biserial trackway Diplichnites triassicus consists of five overlapping en echelon sets of 7–9 tracks preserved as epichnia and hypichnia in lacustrine siltstones. The trackway suggests subaqueous in-phase walking by a multi-segmented producer with a body length of 35–40 mm, width 17–22 mm, and 7–9 appendages. Curved, clustered, or laterally repeated, hypichnial lobes with transverse striations on the base of ripple cross-laminated sandstone are identified as Rusophycus versans. This trace fossil is interpreted as shallow resting or furrowing burrows of a homopodous arthropod, 30–60 mm long, 15–30 mm wide, and probably the same kind of arthropod as produced D. triassicus. A review of contemporary arthropod body fossils from Lagerstätten in Lancashire favours the onisciform, or Arthropleura like arthropod Camptophyllia as a potential producer of both of these trace fossils in a lacustrine palaeoenvironment. This study integrates the analysis of sediments, trace fossils and body fossils for reconstructing the arthropod biota and ecology in Westphalian lacustrine and crevasse splay fluvial palaeoenvironments.

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