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Ichno Publications

Smothering of microbial mats... something for Ediacaran palaeontology to bear in mind

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Microbial mats have been widely invoked as being part of the mechanism by which the soft bodied Ediacara fauna are preserved. Consensus seems to be settling upon microbes growing upon the surface of dead ediacarans forming a kind of death mask that allows the unmineralized tissues to be exceptionally preserved.

This laboratory experiment turns that somewhat on its head.

By placing a piece of seaweed on a well established microbial mat we found that it was possible to smother the mat, and produce a negative impression on the matground surface in the shape of the seaweed.

Publication list

on . Posted in Publication list

Below is a more-or-less up to date publication list for the group.

If you would like to request a .pdf copy of the work for your own research or teaching then please use the mail-to link at the end of the reference and the appropriate author will send you a copy as soon as possible.




      • Stukins, S., Jolley, D.W., McIlroy, D., Hartley, A.J. Middle Jurassic vegetation dynamics from allochthonous palynological assemblages: An example from a marginal marine depositional setting; Lajas Formation, Neuquén Basin, Argentina (accepted)
      • Harazim, D., Callow, R., Mcilroy, D. Microbial mats implicated in the generation of intrastratal shrinkage (‘synaeresis’) cracks.
      • Needham, S.J., Worden, R. H., McIlroy, D., Needham 2004 Biogeosciences worm-sediment interaction (dataset).
      • Herringshaw, L.G., Mcilroy, D. Bioinfiltration: Irrigation-Driven Transport of Clay Particles Through Bioturbated Sediments (accepted).
      • Brasier, M.D., Liu, A., Menon, L., Matthews, J.J., Mcilroy, D., Wacey D. Explaining the exceptional preservation of Ediacaran rangeomorphs from Spaniard's Bay, Newfoundland: A hydraulic model (accepted).
      • McILroy, D., Evidence for Cnidarian-like behaviour in ca 560Ma Ediacaran Aspidella (accepted).
      • Brasier, M.D., McIlroy, D., Liu A., Antcliffe, J.B., Menon, L.R. The oldest evidence of bioturbation on Earth. (accepted).
      • Callow, R., Brasier, M.D., McIlroy, D., Discussion: ''Were the Ediacaran siliciclastics of South Australia coastal or deep marine?'' (accepted).
      • Callow, R., McIlroy, D., Kneller, B., Dykstra, M. Ichnology of Late Cretaceous Turbidites from the Rosario Formation, Baja California, Mexico. (accepted).