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Arthropod ichnofauna of the Old Red Sandstone at Dunure and Montrose, Scotland

  • Elaine F. Walker (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 03 November 2011

Sediments which occur frequently within Lower Devonian andesites of the Midland Valley of Scotland have so far yielded trace fossils in only two areas: Dunure, Ayrshire and Montrose, Angus.

Smith (1909) interpreted the trace fossils from Dunure as representing an “Upland Fauna” and he named 23 new ichnogenera. Re-examination of his localities and specimens suggests that the environment was a shallow ephemeral lake and when sedimentological and preservational factors, size, behavioural variation and synonymy are taken into account, only 8 ichnogenera are here considered valid. These are redefined as Siskemia, Stiaria, Danstairia, Keircalia, Stiallia, Isopodichnus (=Archatomia Smith), Mermia and Merostomichnites. The Montrose ichnofauna of 5 ichnogenera includes a large arthropod trackway Mitchellichnus ferrydenensis gen. and sp. nov.

The trackways from both localities appear to have been formed by various merostomes, crustaceans and possibly early myriapods. The habitat was essentially aquatic although some arthropods may have been amphibious.

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R. G. Bromley & U. Asgaard 1979. Triassic freshwater ichnocoenoses from Carlsberg Fjord, East Greenland. PALAEOGEOGR PALAEOCLIMATOL PALAEOECOL 28, 3980.

B. P. Kokelaar 1982. Fluidization of wet sediment during the emplacement and cooling of various igneous bodies. J GEOL SOC LONDON 139, 2133.

J. E. Pollard 1985a. Evidence from trace fossils. InW. G. Challoner & J. D. Lawson (eds) Evolution and Environment in the late Silurian and early Devonian. PHIL TRANS R SOC LONDON B 309, 241–2.

J. E. Pollard , R. J. Steel & E. Undersrud 1982. Facies sequences and trace fossils in lacustrine/fan-delta deposits, Hornelen Basin (M. Devonian), western Norway. SEDIMENT GEOL 32, 6387.

J. E. Pollard & E. F. Walker 1984. Reassessment of sediments and trace fossils from Old Red Sandstone (Lower Devonian) of Dunure, Scotland, described by John Smith (1909). GEOBIOS 17, 567–76.

N. H. Trewin 1976. Isopodichnus in a trace fossil assemblage from the Old Red Sandstone. LETHAIA 9, 2938.

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