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Ordovician and Silurian graptolitic shales and deep-water mudstones contain a sparse fauna of clustered, minute shells which are commonly believed to have been epiplankton attached to seaweed. Modern deep-water organisms may preferentially attach to local firm areas on the soft sediment. It is suggested that the Ordovician and Silurian shells may also have been benthic animals attached to local firm regions of the sea floor. These substrates might have included algal fronds which had fallen to the bottom.