a1 Department of Geology, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, England.
Coprolites of four distinct shapes, cylindrical, discoidal, beaded and irregular masses, are described from 11 horizons within Bed 16 of the Foulden sequence. These coprolites are composed of either phosphatic or claystone material, although they have not been analysed mineralogically or chemically. Their producers appear to have been fish, probably both nektonic predators and nekto-benthonic scavengers or detritus feeders.
Ostracods are poorly preserved and of two broad types, thick shelled paraparchitids including Shemonaella scotoburdigalensis and thin shelled podocopids, possibly species of Carbonita or Cavellina. This ostracod assemblage represents a conservative ‘carbonaceous fades’ fauna which occurs widely in plant-rich sediments in lower Carboniferous (Courceyan) sequences of northern England and southern Scotland. Other microfauna includes spirorbid worm tubes, fish scales, arthropod cuticle fragments, spat of myalinid bivalves, plant fragments and spores. No significant changes in the vertical distribution of the microfauna could be detected.
The microfauna indicates a general fresh to brackish water lacustrine or lagoonal environment possibly with access to quasi-marine conditions.
(Received November 10 1983)
(Accepted November 28 1984)