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Sphenothallus-like fossils from the Martinsburg Formation (Upper Ordovician), Tennessee, USA

  • Maya Li Wei-Haas (a1) (a2), Bosiljka Glumac (a1) and H. Allen Curran (a1)

Tubular fossils, up to 2 mm in diameter and 60 mm in length, occur rarely in the upper Martinsburg Formation (Upper Ordovician), northeastern Tennessee Appalachians, U.S.A. The fossils are unbranched, straight or slightly bent, occasionally twisted and wrinkled, and not significantly tapered. Orientation of the fossils within shallow-marine tempestites suggests that they represent remains of organisms that were broken, transported, and deposited by storm waves and currents. The fossils are morphologically similar to many of the previously identified species belonging to the genus Sphenothallus, a relatively rare tube-dwelling Paleozoic marine invertebrate. Owing to the limited evidence for distal widening of the tubes, lack of holdfasts, and carbonaceous rather than phosphatic composition, the affinity of these fossils remains uncertain, and we refer to them as Sphenothallus-like.

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Journal of Paleontology
  • ISSN: 0022-3360
  • EISSN: 1937-2337
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