The late Ordovician Soom Shale Lagerstȁtte: an extraordinary post-glacial fossil and sedimentary record
Fossils of the Late Ordovician Soom Shale Lagerstätte are characterized by exceptional preservation of their soft tissues in clay minerals. The low-diversity community lived in an unusual cold-water setting, dominated by anoxic bottom waters, in the immediate aftermath of the Hirnantian glaciation. Giant conodonts represented by complete tooth sets, and one with trunk musculature and liver preserved, unarmoured jawless fish, lobopods and enigmatic taxa are some of the more important fossils. Furthermore, this Lagerstätte also preserves biomineralized Ordovician taxa such as brachiopods, orthoconic nautiloids and trilobites. It is important in capturing the only known examples of many taxa, extending temporal ranges of others and providing a unique glimpse of a post-glacial refugium, at a time when other Lagerstätten are unknown.
Authors: Gabbott, Sarah E., Browning, Claire, Theron, Johannes N., Whittle, Rowan J.