Article: A new scleractinian-like coral from the Ordovician of the Southern Uplands, Scotland
New, discoidal fossils preserved as moulds from the middle Ordovician (Caradoc) of the Southern Uplands are shown to possess characteristic coralline microarchitecture. They are solitary, zoantharian corals with cyclic, hexameral septal insertion. Successive cycles are arranged in a system of nested triads similar to patterns associated with septal substitution in scleractinian corals. The corallum lacks tabulae or dissepiments but is epithccatc with the point of origin a basal disc as in Scleractinia rather than a cone as in Rugosa. The new coral is named Kilbuchophyllum discoidea gen. et sp. nov., and is placed in the new family Kilbuchophyllidae and the new order Kilbuchophyllida. It is interpreted as an early example of skeletal acquisition by the group of anemones that ultimately gave rise to the Scleractinia in the Middle Triassic. The phylogeny of the Zoantharia is briefly discussed in the light of this new material.