Another new paper: A nestling brachiopod in an Ordovician boring and its implications

I know, I know, several new papers lately. This spike in publications is a function of two things: The pandemic with its enforced isolation meant my colleagues and I had more time to finish manuscripts, and I belong to some wonderful networks of very productive scientists. This has all been highly collaborative.

This new paper (a cover story) in Palaios describes a tiny lingulid brachiopod found inside a boring drilled into an internal mold (steinkern) in the Middle Ordovician of Estonia. (Now this is esoteric paleontology!) The abstract —

ABSTRACT: A steinkern of an endoceratid nautiloid siphuncle [see top image] contains a Trypanites sozialis boring with a lingulate brachiopod Rowellella sp. shell inside. The steinkern of this endoceratid formed during early lithification of the sediment on the seafloor. The lithified steinkern of this siphuncle was either initially partially exposed to the seawater or was exhumed and stayed exposed on the seafloor, where it was colonized by boring organisms. This bioerosion resulted in numerous Trypanites borings in the siphuncle. After the death or exit of the Trypanites trace maker, a vacant boring was colonized by a small lingulate nestler Rowellella sp. This lingulate was likely preadapted to life in hard substrate borings when it first found its way into borings in living substrates in the Late Ordovician. The increased availability of hard substrate borings, combined with the increased predation pressure due to the GOBE, enhanced the colonization of hard substrate borings by lingulate brachiopods.

Trypanites sozialis Eisenack, 1934 (Tr) in steinkern of cephalopod from the Kunda Regional Stage, Kunda-Aru quarry (GIT 426-674-1).

Lingulate Rowellella Trypanites sozialis boring from Uuga cliff, Lasnam├Ągi Regional Stage (Darriwilian), NW Estonia (TUG 1393-186).

That you to Olev Vinn and my other Swedish and Estonian colleagues!


Vinn, O., Holmer, L.E., Wilson, M.A., Isakar, M., and Toom, U. 2023. A Rowellella (Lingulata, Brachiopoda) nestler in a Trypanites boring from the Middle Ordovician of Estonia: An early colonizer of hard substrate borings. Palaios 38: 240-245.

About Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is a Professor of Geology at The College of Wooster. He specializes in invertebrate paleontology, carbonate sedimentology, and stratigraphy. He also is an expert on pseudoscience, especially creationism.
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