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Soft-bodied fossils from the upper Valongo Formation (Middle Ordovician: Dapingian-Darriwilian) of northern Portugal

Kimmig, Julien, Couto, Helena, Leibach, Wade W., Lieberman, Bruce S.
Die Naturwissenschaften 2019 v.106 no.5-6 pp. 27
Cambrian period, Ordovician period, arthropods, fossils, geographical distribution, metamorphic rocks, shale, tissues, Iberian Peninsula, Morocco, Portugal, South Africa
Soft-bodied preservation is common in the Cambrian but comparatively rare in the Ordovician. Here, a new deposit preserving soft-bodied fossils is reported from the Middle Ordovician (Dapingian-Darriwilian) upper Valongo Formation of northern Portugal. The deposit contains the first known occurrences of soft-bodied fossils from the Middle Ordovician (Dapingian-Darriwilian) of Portugal and is the first Ordovician example of soft-tissue preservation involving carbonaceous films from the Iberian Peninsula. It also represents the lone deposit of soft-bodied fossils from the Middle Ordovician of northern Gondwana. Thus temporally, it lies between the exceptional deposits of the Lower Ordovician of Fezouata (Morocco) and the Upper Ordovician of the Soom Shale (South Africa); it also serves as a biogeographic link between these and the various Ordovician soft-bodied deposits in Laurentia. The soft-bodied fossils come from the deep-water slates of the upper part of the Valongo Formation and include a discoidal fossil questionably referable to Patanacta, wiwaxiid sclerites, and a possible pseudoarctolepid arthropod.