Llandovery microfossils and microfacies of the Hýskov section, Prague Basin

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The lower Silurian strata of the Prague Basin, as well as in many other regions, are primarily represented by black shales, with limited to no record of benthic life. In this paper, we describe an exceptional late Aeronian volcanic-carbonate succession from the Hýskov locality near Beroun, which contains a diverse and well-preserved fossil assemblage and specific microfacies features. The studied section is mostly represented by well-washed, poorly sorted skeletal grainstones, rudstones and floatstones along with volcaniclastic material. The environment is interpreted as agitated, above storm wave base, and with rapid sedimentation and burial. The collection of acid-resistant microfossils includes abundant scolecodonts, conodonts and chitinozoans, of which only the chitinozoans have previously been studied. The scolecodonts recovered represent at least 14 polychaete genera and 20 species. The fauna bears a great similarity to the early Silurian assemblages previously reported from Baltica, and some environmentally sensitive species allow constraining the assemblage to shallow-shelf settings. The recovered conodonts similarly show close affinities to Baltic faunas, and suggest a Rhuddanian – Aeronian age for the studied section. The chitinozoan assemblage, containing at least eight species, is dominated by Conochitina, and most likely belongs to the C. alargada Biozone.

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