A review of Silurian discinoid brachiopods from historical British localities


Authors: Mergl M

Published in: Bulletin of Geosciences, volume 81, issue 4; pages: 215 - 236; Received 21 September 2006; Accepted in revised form 5 November 2006;

Keywords: Brachiopoda, Discinida, taxonomy, Silurian, Great Britain, Bohemia,

full text (PDF, 1.01 MB)

Export to RIS



The present article revises descriptions of Silurian discinoid brachiopods by J. de C. Sowerby and T. Davidson in the mid-nineteenth century, and of old collections from classic palaeontological sites in Britain, currently housed in the Natural History Museum, London. Orbicula forbesii Davidson, 1848, O. rugata J. de C. Sowerby in Murchison, 1839, O. striata J. de C. Sowerby in Murchison, 1839, Discina verneuilii Davidson, 1848 are re-described. The genus Rugadiscina and the species Acrosaccus woolhopensis, Acrosaccus cocksi and Schizotreta walkeri are erected. Discina?cf. rarissima Barrande, 1879 and the genus Lochkothele are documented from the Silurian of Britain for the first time.Although the generic composition of the British Wenlock discinoid fauna is similar to that of the Barrandian area in Bohemia, differences at the species level confirm the separation of these terrains during the Silurian.


Aldridge, R.J., Siveter, David J., Siveter, Derek J., Lane, P.D., Palmer, D. & Woodcock, N.H. 2000. British Silurian Stratigraphy. 542 pp. Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough.

Barrande, J. 1879. Systeme silurien du Centre de la Boheme. Iere partie: Recherches Paléontologiques. Volume 5. Classe des Mollusques. Ordre des Brachiopodes. 226 pp. Prague and Paris.

Barrois, C., Pruvost, P. & Dubois, G. 1922. Brachiopodes. In Description de la faune siluro-dévonienne de Liévin. Mémoires de la Société géologique du Nord 6(2), 71–104.

Bassett, M.G. 1986. Brachiopodes inarticules. In Racheboeuf, P.R. (ed.) Le Groupe Liévin, Pridoli – Lochkovien de l’Artois (N. France). Biostratigraphie du Paléozoique 3, 85–97.

Blake, J.F. 1902. List of the types and figured specimens recognised by C.D. Sherbern, F.G.S., in the collection of the Geological Society of London. London Geological Society.

Calef, C.E. & Hancock, N.J. 1974. Wenlock and Ludlow marine communities of Wales and the Welsh Borderland. Palaeontology 17, 779–810.

Clarke, J.M. 1913. Fósseis devonianos do Paraná. Monographias do Servico Geologico e Mineralogico do Brasil 1, 1–353.

Cocks, L.R.M. 1978. A review of the British Lower Palaeozoic brachiopods, including a synoptic revision of Davidson’s Monograph. Monograph of the Palaeontographical Society London 549, part of vol. 131 for 1977, 256 pp.

Cocks, L.R.M. & Torsvik, T.H. 2002. Earth geography from 500 to 400 millions years ago: a faunal and palaeomagnetic overview. Journal of the Geological Society, London 159, 631–644.View article

Cooper, G.A. 1956. Chazyan and related brachiopods. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collection 127, 1–1245.

Davidson, T. 1848. Mémoire sur les brachiopodes du systeme silurien supérieur de l’Angleterre. Bulletin de la Société géologique de France (série 2) 5, 309–338, 370–374.

Davidson, T. 1866. A monograph of the British fossil Brachiopoda. Part. VII, No. I. The Silurian Brachiopoda. Monograph of the Palaeontographical Society, London 19 (for 1865), 1–88.

Gray, J.E. 1840. Synopsis of the contents of the British Museum, 42th edition. 370 pp. British Museum, London.

Hall, J. 1847. Palaeontology of New York, vol. 1. Containing descriptions of organic remains of the lower division of the New-York System. 338 pp. Charles van Benthuysen, New York.

Hall, J. & Clarke, J.M. 1890. Extract. Palaeontology of New York 8, Part 1, 120–137. Charles van Benthuysen and Sons, Albany.

Hall, J. & Clarke, J.M. 1892. An introduction to the study of the genera of Palaeozoic Brachiopoda, Part 1. 367 pp. New York Geological Survey.

Hall, J. & Whitfield, R.P. 1875. Descriptions of invertebrate fossils, mainly from the Silurian System. Fossils of the Hudson River Group. Geological Survey of Ohio, Report 2 (part 2), 67–110.

Havlíček, V. 1972. Life habit of some Ordovician inarticulate brachiopods. Věstník Ústředního ústavu geologického 47, 229–234.

Havlíček, V. 1994. Kosovian inarticulate brachiopods and their ancestors (Late Ordovician, Prague Basin). Věstník Českého geologického ústavu 69, 59–68.

Havlíček, V. & Mergl, M. 1988. Two new discinid genera (Brachiopoda) from the Silurian and Devonian of the Prague Basin, Czechoslovakia. Věstník Českého geologického ústavu 63, 169–172.

Havlíček, V. & Štorch, P. 1990. Silurian brachiopods and benthic communities in the Prague Basin (Czechoslovakia). Rozpravy Ústředního ústavu geologického 48, 1–275.

Havlíček, V., Vaněk, J. & Fatka, O. 1994. Perunica microcontinent in the Ordovician (its position within the Mediterranean Province, series division, benthic and pelagic associations). Sborník geologických věd, Geologie 46, 23–56.

Holland, C.H., Lawson, N.J.D. & Walsley, V.G. 1963. The Silurian rocks of the Ludlow district, Shropshire. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History), Geology 8, 93–171.

Holmer, L.E. 1987. Discinacean brachiopods from the Ordovician Kullsberg and Boda limestones of Dalarna, Sweden. Geologiska Föreningens i Stockholm Förhandlingar 109, 317–326.View article

Holmer, L.E. & Popov, L.E. 2000. Lingulata, 30–46. In Williams, A., Brunton, C.H.C. & Carlson, S.J. (eds) Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, part H, Brachiopoda, Revised, Volume 2: Linguliformea, Craniiformea, and Rhynchonelliformea (part). Geological Society of America, University of Kansas, Boulder, Lawrence. i–xxx, 1–423.

Kayser, E. 1892. Beitrage zur Kenntnis der Fauna der Siegenischen Grauwacke. Jahrbuch der Köninglichen preussischen geologischen Landesanstalt 2(8), 95–107.

Kutorga, S.S. 1846. Über das silurische und devonische Schichten-System von Gastschina. Russisch-Kaiserliche Mineralogische Gesselschaft zu St. Petersbourg, Verhandlungen 1845–1846, 85–139.

Kutorga, S.S. 1848. Über die Brachiopoden-familie der Siphonotretaceae. Russisch-Kaiserliche Mineralogische Gesselschaft zu St. Petersbourg, Verhandlungen 1847, 250–286.

Lockley, M.G. & Antia, D.D.J. 1980. Anomalous occurrences of the Lower Palaeozoic brachiopod Schizocrania. Palaeontology 23(3), 707–713.

Mergl, M. 2001. Lingulate brachiopods of the Silurian and Devonian of the Barrandian. Acta Musei nationalis Pragae, Series B 57, 1–49.

Mergl, M. 2002. Linguliformean and craniiformean brachiopods of the Ordovician (Třenice to Dobrotivá Formations) of the Barrandian, Bohemia. Acta Musei nationalis Pragae, Series B 58, 1–82.

Mergl, M. & Massa, D. 2005. A new giant discinoid brachiopod from the Lower Devonian of Algeria. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 50(2), 397–402.

Murchison, R.I. 1839. The Silurian System, founded on geological researches in the counties of Salop, Hereford, Radnor, Montgomery, Caermarthen, Brecon, Pembroke, Monmouth, Gloucester, Worcester, and Stafford; with descriptions of the coalfields and overlying formations. i–xxxii, 768 pp. John Murray, London.View article

Murchison, R.I. 1854–72. Siluria. The History of the oldest known rocks containing organic remains, with a brief rescription of the distribution of gold over the Earth. i–xvi, 1–523, pls 1–37 (3rd ed., 1859; 4th ed., 1867; 5th ed. 1872).

d’Orbigny, A. 1847. Considérations zoologiques et géologiques sur les Brachiopodes ou Palliobranches. Comptes Rendus Hebdomodaires des Séances de l’Académie des Sciences 25, 193–195, 266–269.

Phillips, J. & Salter, J.W. 1848. Palaeontological appendix to Professor John Phillips’ memoir on the Malvern Hills, compared with the Palaeozoic districts of Abberly, etc. Memoir of the Geological Survey of Great Britain 2, 331–386.

Reed, F.R.C. 1917. The Ordovician and Silurian Brachiopoda of the Girvan District. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 5, 795–998.View article

Rowell, A.J. 1962. Orbiculoidea d’Orbigny, 1847 (Brachiopoda, Inarticulata); Proposed designation of type species under the plenary powers; Z.N.(S.) 1506. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 19(5), 311–314.

Rowell, A.J. 1965a. Inarticulata. In Moore, R.C. Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, part H, Brachiopoda, Volume 1, H260–H269. Geological Society of America and University of Kansas Press, Boulder, Colorado and Lawrence.

Rowell, A.J. 1965b. Inarticulate brachiopoda. In Doumani, G.A., Boardman, R.S., Rowell, A.J., Boucot, A.J., Johnson, J.G., McAlester, A.L., Saul, J., Fisher, D.W. & Miles, R.S. Lower Devonian fauna of the Horlick Formation, Ohio Range, Antarctica. Geology and Paleontology of the Antarctic 6, 241–281.

Schuchert, C. 1893. Classification of the Brachiopoda. American Geologist 11, 141–167.

Sowerby, J. de C. 1839. Fossil shells of the lower Ludlow age. In Murchison, R.I. The Silurian System, founded on geological researches in the counties of Salop, Hereford, Radnor, Montgomery, Caermarthen, Brecon, Pembroke, Monmouth, Gloucester, Worcester, and Stafford; with descriptions of the coalfields and overlying formations. John Murray, London.

Sutton, M.D., Bassett, M.G. & Cherns, L. 2000. Lingulate brachiopods from the lower Ordovician of the Anglo-Welsh Basin. Part. 2. Monograph of the Palaeontological Society 154, i, ii, 61–114.

Waagen, W. 1885. Salt Range fossils, I. Productus-Limestone fossils, Brachiopoda. Memoirs of the Geological Survey of India, Palaeontologia Indica (series 13) 4(5), 729–770.

Watkins, R. 1979. Benthic community organization in the Ludlow Series of the Welsh Borderland. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History), Geology 31, 175–280.

Watkins, R. & Aithie, C.J. 1980. Carbonate shelf environments and faunal communitites in the Upper Bringewood Beds of the British Silurian. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 29, 341–368.View article

Whitfield, R.P. 1890. Description of a new genus of inarticulate brachiopodous shell. American Museum of Natural History, Bulletin 3, 121–122.

Whittard, W.F. & Barker, G.H. 1950. The Upper Valentian brachiopod fauna of Shropshire. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 12, 553–590.

Willard, B. 1928. The brachiopods of the Ottosee and Holston formations of Tennesseee and Virginia. Bulletin of the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology 68, 255–292.

Williams, A. 1974. Ordovician Brachiopods from the Shelve District, Shropshire. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History), Geology, Supplement 2, 1–163.