Paired pleural disks in Dicaulograptus cumdiscus n. sp.



A diplograptid graptolite with strongly introverted thecae and unusual thecal processes was isolated from limestones of the Ordovician Pratt Ferry Formation of Alabama and is described as a new species Dicaulograptus cumdiscus. The thecal processes are referred to as pleural disks. They occur in pairs above every thecal aperture and are inferred to have functioned as suspension processes receiving uplift from small-scale turbulent water motion. Such a function is compatible with a passively buoyant mode of life and is difficult to reconcile with an automobile mode of life.