Skip to main content Accessibility help

Silurian Ramphoprionid polychaetes from Gotland, Sweden

  • Mats Eriksson (a1)


Silurian ramphoprionid polychaete annelids, represented by their jaws (scolecodonts), are described from extensive collections from Gotland, Sweden. The family Ramphoprionidae, monotypic at its original description, is sub-divided into four genera; Protarabellites Stauffer, 1933; Ramphoprion Kielan-Jaworowska, 1962; “Pararamphoprion” Männil and Zaslavskaya, 1985; and Megaramphoprion new genus. Identified species include “P.” cf. nordicus Männil and Zaslavskaya, 1985; P. rectangularis new species; P. staufferi new species; P. triangularis new species; and two Protarabellites species left in open nomenclature. Ramphoprion is represented by one new highly plastic species, R. gotlandensis, housing five distinguishable morphotypes showing gradual evolution. Megaramphoprion, which is most closely related to Ramphoprion, is represented by M. magnus new genus and species, a rare but distinctive taxon. Most species have long stratigraphic ranges within which important morphological changes can nonetheless be observed. The stratigraphic range of ramphoprionids includes, at least, the Ordovician to the Silurian. They are fairly rare in the Silurian of Gotland and where present they generally form less than 10 percent of the polychaete faunas, although occasionally reaching as much as 20 to 30 percent. Evolution, paleoecology, and surface structures of the investigated species are briefly discussed.



Hide All
Barnes, C. R., Fredholm, D., and Jeppsson, L. 1987. Improved techniques for picking of microfossils, p. 7476. In Austin, R. L. (ed.), Conodonts Investigative Techniques and Applications. British Micropalaeontological Society Series, Ellis Horwood Ltd. Chichester, England.
Bergman, C. 1979. Polychaete jaws, p. 92102. In Jaanusson, V., Laufeld, S., and Skoglund, R. (eds.), Lower Wenlock faunal and floral dynamics—Vattenfallet section, Gotland. Sveriges Geologiska Undersökning, C 762:1294.
Bergman, C. F. 1989. Silurian paulinitid polychaetes from Gotland. Fossils and Strata, 25:1128.
Bergman, C. F. 1991. Revision of some Silurian paulinitid scolecodonts from western New York. Journal of Paleontology, 65:248254.
Bergman, C. F. 1995. Symmetroprion spatiosus (Hinde), a jawed polychaete showing preference for reef environments in the Silurian of Gotland. GFF, 117:143150.
Bergman, C. F. 1998. Reversal in some fossil polychaete jaws. Journal of Paleontology, 72:632638.
Calner, M. 1999. Stratigraphy, facies development, and depositional dynamics of the Late Wenlock Fröjel Formation, Gotland, Sweden. GFF, 121:1324.
Calner, M., and SÄll, E. 1999. Transgressive oolites onlapping a Silurian rocky shoreline unconformity, Gotland, Sweden. GFF, 121:91100.
Corradini, D., Russo, F., and Serpagli, E. 1974. Ultrastructure of some fossil and recent polychaete jaws (scolecodonts). Bollettino della Società Paleontologica Italiana, 13, 1–2:122134
Dales, R. P. 1963. Annelids. Hutchinson University Library, London, 200 p.
Edgar, D. R. 1984. Polychaetes of the Lower and Middle Paleozoic: a multi-element analysis and a phylogenetic outline. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 43:255284.
Ehlers, E. 1868a. Über fossile würmer aus dem litographischen schiefer in Bayern. Palaeontographica, 17:145175.
Ehlers, E. 1868b. Über eine fossile Eunicee aus Solenhofen (Eunicites aviatus), nebst bemerkungen über fossile würmer überhabt. Zeitschrift für Wissenschaftliche Zoologie, 18:421443.
Elfman, M., Eriksson, M., Kristiansson, P., Malmqvist, K., and Pallon, J. 1999. Application of microPIXE and STIM in analyses of fossil and Recent polychaete jaws (scolecodonts). Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, B 158:287291.
Eller, E. R. 1940. New Silurian scolecodonts from the Albion Beds of the Niagara Gorge, New York. Annals of the Carnegie Museum, 28:946.
Eller, E. R. 1942. Scolecodonts from the Erindale, Upper Ordovician, at Streetsville, Ontario. Annals of the Carnegie Museum, 29:240270.
Eller, E. R. 1945. Scolecodonts from the Trenton series (Ordovician) of Ontario, Quebec, and New York. Annals of the Carnegie Museum, 30:119212.
Eriksson, M. 1996. Taxonomy and palaeoecology of some labidognathid polychaetes from the Lower Silurian of Gotland. GFF, Jubilee Issue, 118:A59.
Eriksson, M. 1997. Lower Silurian polychaetaspid polychaetes from Gotland, Sweden. GFF, 119:213230.
Eriksson, M. 1999a. Taxonomic discussion of the scolecodont genera Nereidavus Grinnell, 1877, and Protarabellites Stauffer, 1933 (Annelida: Polychaeta). Journal of Paleontology, 73:403406.
Eriksson, M. 1999b. Structure and chemistry of the jaws of two Silurian polychaete species from Gotland (Sweden). GFF, 121:7778.
Eriksson, M. 2000a. Early Palaeozoic jawed polychaetes with focus on polychaetaspids and ramphoprionids from the Silurian of Gotland, Sweden. Lund Publications in Geology, 151:119.
Eriksson, M. 2000b. Enigmatic polychaete jaws from the Silurian of Gotland, Sweden. Lethaia, 33:175189.
Eriksson, M., and Bergman, C. F. 1998. Scolecodont systematics exemplified by the polychaete Hadoprion cervicornis (Hinde, 1879). Journal of Paleontology, 72:477485.
Eriksson, M., and Elfman, M. 2000. Enrichment of metals in jaws of fossil and extant polychaetes—distribution and function. Lethaia, 33:7581.
Eriksson, M., and Lindström, S. 2000. Ophryotrocha sp., the first report of a jawed polychaete from the Cretaceous of Skåne, Sweden. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 45:311315.
Fauchald, K. 1982. Description of Mooreonuphis jonesi, a new species of onuphid polychaete from shallow water in Bermuda, with comments on variability and population ecology. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 95:807825.
Fredholm, D. 1988. Vertebrate biostratigraphy of the Hemse Beds of Gotland, Sweden. Geologiska Föreningens i Stockholm Förhandlingar, 110:237253.
Grinnell, G. B. 1877. Notice of a new genus of annelids from the Lower Silurian. American Journal of Science and Arts, 14:229230.
Gries, J. P. 1935. Ordovician scolecodonts. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Chicago, 44 p.
Hadding, A. 1941. The pre-Quaternary rock of Sweden. VI. Reef limestones. Lunds Universitets Arsskrift N. F. 2, 37(10):1137.
Hede, J. E. 1921. Gottlands silurstratigrafi. Sveriges Geologiska Undersökning, C 305:1100.
Hede, J. E. 1925. Berggrunden (Silursystemet), p. 1330. In Munthe, H., Hede, J. E., and von Post, L. (eds.), Gotlands geologi, en översikt. Sveriges Geologiska Undersökning, C 331.
Hede, J. E. 1927. Berggrunden (Silursystemet), p. 1556. In Munthe, H., Hede, J. E., and Lundqvist, G. (eds.), Beskrivning till kartbladet Hemse. Sveriges Geologiska Undersökning, Aa 164.
Hede, J. E. 1960. The Silurian of Gotland, p. 4489. In Regnéll, G. and Hede, J. E. (eds.), The Lower Palaeozoic of Scania. The Silurian of Gotland. International Geological Congress, XXI Session, Norden, Guidebook d, Sweden.
Hinde, G. J. 1879. On annelid jaws from the Cambro-Silurian, Silurian and Devonian Formations in Canada and from the Lower Carboniferous in Scotland. The Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London, 35:370389.
Hints, O. 1998a. Revision of the Ordovician and Silurian ramphoprionid polychaetes from Severnaya Zemlya, Russian arctic. Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, 47:7785.
Hints, O. 1998b. Late Viruan (Caradoc) polychaete jaws from North Estonia and the St. Petersburg region. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 43:471516.
Hints, O. 1999. Ordovician scolecodonts of the East Baltic and surrounding areas—an overview. Acta Universitatis Carolinae—Geologica, 43:317320.
Hints, O., Bergman, C. F., and Märss, T. 2000. Silurian jawed polychaetes from Cornwallis and Ballie-Hamilton islands, Canadian Arctic. Pan-Arctic Palaeozoic tectonics, evolution of basins and faunas. Syktyvkar, Russia, July 2000. Ichtyolith Issues Special Publication, 6:3538.
Jaanusson, V. 1979. Stratigraphical and environmental background, p. 1138. In Jaanusson, V., Laufeld, S., and Skoglund, R. (eds.), Lower Wenlock faunal and floral dynamics—Vattenfallet section, Gotland. Sveriges Geologiska Undersökning, C 762:1294.
Jansonius, J., and Craig, J. H. 1971. Scolecodonts: I. Descriptive terminology and revision of systematic nomenclature; II Lectotypes, new names for homonyms, index of species. Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology, 19:251302.
Jeppsson, L. 1982. Third European Conodont Symposium (ECOS III). Guide to excursion. Publications from the Institutes of Mineralogy, Palaeontology and Quarternary Geology, University of Lund, Sweden, 239:132.
Jeppsson, L. 1983. Silurian conodont faunas from Gotland. Fossils and Strata, 15:121144.
Jeppsson, L. 1997. A new latest Telychian, Sheinwoodian and Early Homerian (Early Silurian) Standard Conodont Zonation. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences. 88:91114.
Jeppsson, L. 1998. Silurian oceanic events: summary of general characteristics, p. 239257. In Landing, E. and Johnson, M. E. (eds.), Silurian Cycles: Linkages of Dynamic Stratigraphy with Atmospheric, Oceanic and Tectonic Changes. James Hall Centennial Volume. New York State Museum Bulletin, 491.
Jeppsson, L., and Männik, P. 1993. High-resolution correlations between Gotland and Estonia near the base of the Wenlock. Terra Nova, 5(4):348358
Jeppsson, L., Anehus, R., and Fredholm, D. 1999. The optimal acetate buffered acetic acid technique for extracting phosphatic fossils. Journal of Paleontology, 73:964972.
Jeppsson, L., Viira, V., and Männik, P. 1994. Silurian conodont-based correlations between Gotland (Sweden) and Saarema (Estonia). Geological Magazine, 131:201218.
Jerre, F. 1994. Anatomy and phylogenetic significance of Eoconularia loculata (Wiman, 1895), a conulariid from the Silurian of Gotland. Lethaia, 27:97109.
Kay, G. M. 1937. Stratigraphy of the Trenton group. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, 48:233302.
Kielan-Jaworowska, Z. 1962. New Ordovician genera of polychaete jaw apparatuses. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 7:291325.
Kielan-Jaworowska, Z. 1966. Polychaete jaw apparatuses from the Ordovician and Silurian of Poland and comparison with modern forms. Palaeontologia Polonica, 16:1152.
Kozur, H. 1970. Zur klassifikation und phylogenetischen entwicklung der fossilen Phyllodocida und Eunicida (Polychaeta). Freiberger Forschungshefte, C 260:3581.
Larsson, K. 1979. Silurian tentaculitids from Gotland and Scania. Fossils and Strata, 11:1180.
Laufeld, S. 1974a. Silurian Chitinozoa from Gotland. Fossils and Strata, 5:1130.
Laufeld, S. 1974b. Reference localities for palaeontology and geology in the Silurian of Gotland. Sveriges Geologiska Undersökning, C 705:1172.
Laufeld, S., and Jeppsson, L. 1976. Silicification and bentonites in the Silurian of Gotland. Geologiska Föreningens i Stockholm Förhandlingar, 98:3144.
Männil, R., and Zaslavskaya, N. M. 1985. Silurian polychaetes from northern Siberia. Trudy Instituta Geologii i Geofiziki SO AN SSSR, 615:98119. (In Russian).
Manten, A. A. 1971. Silurian Reefs of Gotland. Elsevier, 537 p.
Mori, K. 1970. Stromatoporoids from the Silurian of Gotland. Pt. 2. Stockholm Contributions in Geology, 22:1152.
Nield, E. W. 1981. The inception and development of reef growth in the Visby Formation (Sheinwoodian/late Llandovery) of Gotland, Sweden. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Wales, 285 p.
Orensanz, J. M. 1990. The eunicemorph polychaete annelids from Antarctic and Subantarctic seas. Biology of the Antarctic seas XXI, Antarctic Research Series, 52:1183.
Potter, F. C. 1933. Scolecodonts from the Upper Richmond of Illinois. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Chicago, 44 p.
Ramsköld, L. 1983. Silurian cheirurid trilobites from Gotland. Palaeontology, 26:175210.
Ramsköld, L. 1986. Silurian encrinurid trilobites from Gotland and Dalarna, Sweden. Palaeontology, 29:527575.
Riding, R., and Watts, N. R. 1991. The lower Wenlock reef sequence of Gotland: facies and lithostratigraphy. Geologiska Föreningens i Stockholm Förhandlingar, 113:343372.
Samtleben, C., Munnecke, A., Bickert, T., and Pätzold, J. 1996. The Silurian of Gotland (Sweden): facies interpretation based on stable isotopes in brachiopod shells. Geologische Rundschau, 85:278292.
Sandström, O. 1998. Sediments and stromatoporoid morphotypes in Ludfordian (Upper Silurian) reefal sea stacks on Gotland, Sweden. GFF, 120:365371.
Stauffer, C. R. 1933. Middle Ordovician Polychaeta from Minnesota. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, 44:11731218.
Strauch, F. 1973. Die feinstruktur einiger scolecodonten. Senckenbergiana Lethaea, 54:119.
Szaniawski, H. 1974. Some Mesozoic scolecodonts congeneric with recent forms. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 19:179199.
Szaniawski, H. 1996. Scolecodonts, p. 337354. In Jansonius, J. and McGregor, D. C. (eds.), Palynology: Principles and Applications. American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists Foundation. Volume 1.
Szaniawski, H., and Gazdzicki, A. 1978. A reconstruction of three Jurassic polychaete jaw apparatuses. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 23:329.
Szaniawski, H., and Imajima, M. 1996. Hartmaniellidae—living fossils among polychaetes. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 41:111125.
Tasch, P., and Stude, J. R. 1966. Permian scolecodonts from the Fort Riley Limestone of southeastern Kansas. Wichita State University Bulletin, 42:135.
Torsvik, T. H. 1998. Palaeozoic palaeogeography: a North Atlantic viewpoint. GFF, 120:109118.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Silurian Ramphoprionid polychaetes from Gotland, Sweden

  • Mats Eriksson (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.