Variations in preservation of exceptional fossils within concretions

Saleh F, Clements T, Perrier V, Daley AC, Antcliffe JB (2023)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2023


Book Volume: 142

Article Number: 20

Journal Issue: 1

DOI: 10.1186/s13358-023-00284-4


Concretions are an interesting mode of preservation that can occasionally yield fossils with soft tissues. To properly interpret these fossils, an understanding of their fossilization is required. Probabilistic models are useful tools to identify variations between different Konservat-Lagerstätten that are separated spatially and temporally. However, the application of probabilistic modeling has been limited to Early Paleozoic Konservat-Lagerstätten preserved in shales. In this paper, the patterns of preservation of three concretionary Konservat-Lagerstätten—the Carboniferous Mazon Creek (USA) and Montceau-les-Mines (France), and the Silurian Herefordshire Lagerstätte (UK)—are analyzed using a statistical approach. It is demonstrated that the degree of biotic involvement, i.e., the degree to which a carcass dictates its own preservation, is connected to internal organ conditional probabilities—the probabilities of finding an internal organ associated with another structure such as biomineralized, sclerotized, cuticularized, or cellular body walls. In concretions that are externally forced with little biological mediation (e.g., Herefordshire), all internal organ conditional probabilities are uniform. As biological mediation in concretion formation becomes more pronounced, heterogeneities in conditional probabilities are introduced (e.g., Montceau-les-Mines and Mazon Creek). The three concretionary sites were also compared with previously investigated Konservat-Lagerstätten preserving fossils in shales to demonstrate how the developed probability framework aids in understanding the broad-scale functioning of preservation in Konservat-Lagerstätten.

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Saleh, F., Clements, T., Perrier, V., Daley, A.C., & Antcliffe, J.B. (2023). Variations in preservation of exceptional fossils within concretions. Swiss Journal of Palaeontology, 142(1).


Saleh, Farid, et al. "Variations in preservation of exceptional fossils within concretions." Swiss Journal of Palaeontology 142.1 (2023).

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