Frontal auxiliary impressions in the Ordovician trilobite Dalmanitina Reed, 1905 from the Barrandian area, Czech Republic

 

Authors: Fatka O Budil P

Published in: Bulletin of Geosciences, volume 96, issue 4; pages: 481 - 491; Received 10 July 2020; Accepted in revised form 11 August 2021; Online 29 August 2021

Keywords: Trilobites, frontal auxiliary impressions, soft-tissue preservation, Letná Formation, Upper Ordovician, Czech Republic,

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Abstract

Fossils preserved in Cambrian to Devonian sediments of the Barrandian area (Czech Republic) have contributed significantly to our knowledge of numerous invertebrate groups. With respect to trilobites, important data has been discovered on the construction of eyes, healing of exoskeletal injuries, as well as on the morphology of soft parts. The generally rarely preserved frontal auxiliary impressions (FAIs) on the glabellar surface of trilobites were first described in Devonian examples from this area in the mid-nineteenth century by Barrande. Such impressions have only rarely been documented in a few trilobite species in the Lower Palaeozoic of the Barrandian area. Here we describe twelve exceptionally preserved holaspid cephalic shields of Dalmanitina socialis Barrande, 1846. These specimens are internal moulds and were collected at three localities in the Upper Ordovician Letná Formation. This material documents a high level of variability in the disposition of FAIs within the glabella. However, the FAIs show a common pattern at the anterior glabellar margin and are arranged in two pairs around a medial impression and are also associated with a third pair situated more posterolaterally. This current study is the first to focus on the distribution of FAIs within the Dalmanitidae. Dalmanitina socialis specimens with FAIs from the Letná Formation indicate that the depositional environment at the several localities in that unit was favourable to exceptional preservation. Excellently preserved cephalic shields of Dalmanitina demonstrate the presence of the posterior median impression (pmi) of Eldredge (1972) and enable new terminology to be proposed for other FAIs.

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