Including Original "Paul H. Letters" Copyright © 1996-2017 Paul V. Heinrich - All rights reserved.

Saturday, 5 January 2013



In "conodonts" at:
J. R. Hodel wrote

>Speaking of conodonts, do I recall some
>research showing that conodonts are perhaps
>or even certainly remnants of a softbodied
>species like those found in the Canadian
>shale beds? Somewhere in the Canadian
>rockies, near Banff maybe? The formation
>name escapes me!

The main places that actual fossilized remains of the soft parts
of the conodont animal were first found are in Carboniferous
strata near Edinburgh, Scotland; Silurian strata in Wisconsin,
and the Soom Shale Konservat-Lagerstätte, Upper Ordovician,
South Africa. There are likely others, which I have not heard

The papers for the Carboniferous conodont body fossil,
which came from the "shrimp band" in the Granton
Sandstones, Lower Oil Shale Group, are:

Briggs, D. E. G., E. N. K. Clarkson, and R. J. Aldridge, 1983,
The conodont animal. Lethaia 16(1):1-14.

Aldridge, R. J., D. E. G. Briggs, E. N. K. Clarkson, and M. P. Smith,
1986, The affinities of conodonts - new evidence from the
Carboniferous of Edinburgh, Scotland. Lethaia. 19(4):279-291.

Aldridge and opthers concluded:

"The evidence indicates that the conodonts represent a
separate group of jawless craniates."

A paper about the Silurian fossil of the conodont animal is

Smith, M. P., D. E. G. Briggs, and R. J. Aldridge, 1987, A
conodont animal from the Lower Silurian of Wisconsin, U.S.A.,
and the apparatus architecture of panderodontid conodonts.
in R. J. Aldridge, ed., pp. 91-104. Palaeobiology of conodonts
Ellis Horwood, Chichester / The British Micropalaeontological

The Soom Shale conodont fossil is described in:

Aldridge, R. J. and J. N. Theron, 1993, Conodonts with preserved
soft tissue from a new Ordovician Konservat-Lagerstätte.
Journal of Micropalaeontology. 12:113-117.

An alleged conodont animal was reported from the
Burgess Shale. However, paleontologists no longer regard
this identification as being correct. In addition, the soft-bodied
conodont fossil reported from the Bear Gulch Limestone
in Montana turned out to be the fossil of animal that ate
a conodont and had one in its stomach just before it died.


Conodonts in Vertebrate Evolution


Best wishes,

Paul H.