Foto: Brahim Ben

The newest scientific opinion (10/17):

"I'm Prof. El Hafid Bouougri from the Deparetment of Geology, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech, Morocco ... I took also some time to look on your webpage "" and surprisingly I found a Photo and a discussion about a structure from the ordovician of Morocco. I can confirm that this structure is "Kinneyia-type wrinkles", I published two papers on these structures together with colleagues from Germany, papers are available on my researchegate page."

Auf Facebook (Uwe M. Troppenz) ist im September 2017 eine rege internationale Diskussion entbrannt über ein Problematikum aus dem Ordovizium Marokkos. Auch auf den Seiten "The fossil forum" und "Ichnology" wurde diskutiert , mehrere Einzelpersonen übernahmen die Bilder auf ihre eigenen Seiten. Bei der Wiedergabe sind leider die Bilder aus der Diskussion verschwunden...

In September 2017 there was a big discussion about a problematic discovery in the Ordovician of Morokko. The pages "The fossil forum" and "Ichnology" adopted the theme, many persons took the pictures on their own pages. I regret that the pictures of the discussion disappeared...


Facebook-Freund Brahim Ben hat mir dieses Bild geschickt: eine Platte mit schönen Wellenrippeln aus dem Ordovizium von Tazarine/Marokko und drei kleinen Kugeln darauf. Hat jemand eine Idee, was das sein könnte?

Facebook-friend Brahim Ben sent me this picture: a slide with three little balls on pretty wave ripples (Ordovician from Tazarine/Morocco). Is there someone who has an idea what it could be?

Martin Sauter  Anorganisch?
Uwe M. Troppenz  Anorganisch oder biogener Herkunft - beides ist möglich. Die Gleichmäßigkeit fällt auf.

Uwe M. Troppenz  Here you see the whole plate with parts of trilobites beside (right side).


Miquel Ramon Martí  Very interesting plate


Jean Barbeau h\t Uwe M. Troppenz. Je partage ce magnifique exemple de ce qu'un biofilm peut imprimer comme structure sur une surface soumise aux mouvements de l'eau. Ces MISS (Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures) se retrouvent dans les archives des temps très anciens (jusqu'à 3,7 milliards d'années). Sur cette photo, nous remontons à l'Ordovicien (485,4 ± 1,9 à 443,4 ± 1,5 million d'années). Les structures arrondies pourraient avoir été causées par le dégagement de gaz par les organismes.

Les MISS deviendront de plus en plus rares avec l'avènement de la révolution agronomique (au Cambrien) qui a vu l'émergence d'organismes complexes capables de se nourrir aux dépens des films microbiens et furent à l'origine d'un brassage important des sédiments au niveau vertical. Cette révolution agronomique était bien implantée à l'Ordovicien.

Uwe M. Troppenz  Après une nuit et un jour je suis d'accord avec votre interpretation, Jean Barbeau. C'est la solution pour ce problème.

Jean Barbeau  Je suis loin d'être un expert, mais l'interprétation me semble possible.

Pierre Dicenzo  Ne devrait-on pas parler de stabiliser ou fixer, au lieu d’imprimer!
Jean Barbeau  C'est exact Pierre.
Jean Barbeau  J'ai corrigé

Bill Blakers  Feeding trails ?
Matt Stimson  Microbial wrinkles. What's the age?
John A. Spina Jr.  Microbial mat surfaces, a good example of MISS.
Patrick R Gonsoulin-Getty  Looks like ripples to me; they could be affected by microbial processes.

Chikh Younes Mahboubi  DESCRIPTION: A meandering trace consisting of a central furrow flanked on both sides by regular closely spaced oval or circular lobes, closely spaced, commonly finely striated. Meanders may be densely space and vary in width, shape, and size. 

BEHAVIOR(S): Feeding or grazing trace of a deposit-feeding animal. 

ENVIRONMENTAL SETTINGS: Marine, deep marine to lagoonal to deltaic environments. Commonly found on the top surface of thin turbidites in near abyssal plain areas (slope/abyssal) in sand and mud-based media. Reported in lacustrine turbidites (Hu et al., 1998). 

POSSIBLE TRACEMAKERS: Annelid worms, gastropods, or arthropods. 

GEOLOGIC RANGE: Precambrian-recent. 

ADDITIONAL REFERENCES: (Seilacher, 1983, 1986)(Devera, 1989)(Rindsberg, 1994)(Uchman, 1995)(Orr, 1995)(Mangano et al., 2000). 

REMARKS: Possible preservational variant with Neonereites Seilacher, 1960 and Scalarituba Weller, 1899 with Neonereites and Scalarituba as junior synonyms.

Andrew RindsbergGruppenadministrator  The anastomosis and blind ends suggest that this structure is more akin to ripplemarks than to feeding burrows. However, as others have already pointed out, some ripplemarks are partially stabilized by biofilms or biomats, and these are particularly common in Cambrian strata. Any interpretation must address the strange medial structures at the crest of these ridges, and also the parallel structures seen on their flanks.
Lothar Herbert Vallon  Let's go with the microbial mat/ripplemark hypothesis (although I do not really want to take part in this discussion as I have a very strong personal antipathy against the original publisher of this picture and he has against me...). Let's think further that it was created in an area that can run dry from time to time... How would these mats crack during desiccation? On the ripple crests? The MISS idea woul probably also find explanation for the three bulbs which is the main thing he will be trying to find an explanation for...
Don Chesnut  How about multi-crested ripples?
Paul Goodrich  Low energy, oscillating tidal flat waters with density and particle variations, possible convergence with muddy estuarine input, producing divergent from the mean and complex - but not unusual bifurcation. Ripples.

Jean Barbeau  Nice! Trace fossil?
Uwe M. Troppenz  Could be, but it is positive on the ripples. Very allover. Biogenic or unorganic? Who knows? It is fascinating...

Jean Barbeau  Indeed it could be ripples. May be you could post this nice specimen on the FB site "ichnology".
Uwe M. Troppenz  I think ripples are o.k. But what are the three balls?
Fran Batchelor  Fascinating! I'm eager to learn from the experts opinions ..
Norbert Lutoslawski  Wow that is a strange ripple pattern to say the least! It reminds me of beetle larval burrows. Gosh, it's perplexing!! I think the closest thing I have seen to this was when I found termite burrows between a wooden wall and a vinyl shower wall.
Don Blakeley  Ich weis nicht...
Uwe M. Troppenz  Here you see the whole plate with parts of trilobite beside.
Jean Barbeau  Would you allow me to share on the ichnology FB site?
Uwe M. Troppenz  Yes, of course!
Gordon Sinclair  Brain coral....
Emily A Rocksvold  Perhaps trace feeding trails from said trilobites. Wie schoen!
Norbert Lutoslawski  It's interesting how there are few dead-ends and it appears that where there are, there are often larger 'turn around' areas. Amazing how the walls between trails rarely touch though!
Karma Doescher  If those are trilobites on the side, those linear features are too small to be wave ripples. I am thinking burrow trace fossil, as others have mentioned.
Karma Doescher  Also, if they were wave ripples, they would be linear parallel crests, bifurcation is common, as well as superposition of a couple current directions, but not those bending changes in direction.
Karma Doescher  As far as those little round things, could be many things. Little vertical burrows, concretions, load cast, ???
Uwe M. Troppenz  You could be right, I think...
Norbert Lutoslawski  I like the burrow theory too but it seems they were rather confined to a single plane. I wonder if you know whether there was any vertical aspect to these patterns in other rocks? ...and I wonder what could possibly have made them? Neat-o!
Karma Doescher  Norbert Lutoslawski yep! Planar burrows like that are actually pretty common. The critter would likely have been mining a thin, carbon-rich layer.
Uwe M. Troppenz  The trilobites are to see left beside (!) of the plate. They are surely from the same layer, where Brahim Ben searched fossils. But perhaps there is no direct context.
Wade T. Jones  I think that might be something similar to Helminthoida
Craig Tate  The only shape I know like that in the modern world is a Diploria Strigosa Coral.
Enrico Bonino  Very nice Kinneya like structures, related to the presence of a algal mat. You can find more here:
Jean Barbeau  Wrinkles from microbial mat... (Matt Stimson, and John A. Spina Jr.)
Norbert Lutoslawski  Yeah, the algal mat info looks good to me. I want to look into it more when I have the time however. I love stromatolites and such so I am very happy to learn about this as well!! Thank you so much!!
John A. Spina Jr.  MISS from Venango Fm. NE Pennsylvania.