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Article: An Early Devonian arthropod fauna from the Windyfield cherts, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 46
Part: 3
Publication Date: May 2003
Page(s): 467 509
Author(s): Lyall I. Anderson and Nigel H. Trewin
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How to Cite

ANDERSON, L. I., TREWIN, N. H. 2003. An Early Devonian arthropod fauna from the Windyfield cherts, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Palaeontology46, 3, 467–509.

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New terrestrial and freshwater arthropods are described from the Windyfield cherts, a suite of silicified sinters deposited 700m north-east of the Rhynie cherts and part of the same Early Devonian hot-spring complex. The diverse assemblage consists of Heterocrania rhyniensis (Hirst and Maulik, 1926a), here recognized as a euthycarcinoid; scutigeromorph centipede material assigned to Crussolum sp.; the crustacean Lepidocaris; trigonotarbid arachnids; a new arthropod of myriapod affinities named Leverhulmia mariae gen. et sp. nov.; and the distinctively ornamented arthropod cuticle of Rhynimonstrum dunlopi gen. et sp. nov. The Leverhulmia animal preserves gut content identifying it as an early terrestrial detritivore. Abundant coprolites of similar composition and morphology to the gut contents of the euthycarcinoid crowd the matrix. Chert texture, faunal associations, and study of modern analogues strongly suggest that the terrestrial arthropods were ubiquitous Early Devonian forms with no particular special adaptation to localized conditions around the terrestrial hot-spring vents. The aquatic arthropods represent biota from ephemeral cool-water pools in the vicinity of the hot-spring vents.
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