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Selected fauna from Westhoughton

[An articulated fossil milliped]

This fossil is typical of the style and quality of preservation of the millipedes from the site. The cuticle appears phosphatised and is supported by calcite and kaolinite infills within body cavity. This probably belongs to the genus Xylolius. The specimen is housed in the type and figured collections of The Manchester Museum (University of Manchester) under the accession number LL 11294.

[a fossil insect wing]valign=top

A fossil dragonfly wing

[the crustacean Pleurocaris] align=left valign=top

The crustacean Pleurocaris

[the arthropod Camptophyllia] align=left valign=top

This fossil is a rather enigmatic arthropod named Camptophyllia. Only one specimen was recovered from the Westhoughton site during the study. This particular specimen (LL 11153) is of great interest as it appears to show evidence of phosphatized gut contents towards the back end of the organism, in the form of a small elongate cigar-shaped object. The axial length of the fossil is about 6 cm.

Camptophyllia shows similarities to both isopod crustaceans (wood lice) and the extinct giant arthropleurids, a type of many-legged arthropod common in Coal Measures faunas. Further research on the gut contents of this specimen which appears to consist of finely broken up plant material may help to clarify its position in a systematic classification.


At present,the following people are involved with this project:

  • Dr Lyall I. Anderson (National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh)
  • Dr Jason A. Dunlop (Museum fur Naturkunde, Berlin)
  • Dr Heather M. Wilson (University of Maryland, USA)
  • Carl A. Horrocks B. Sc. (Manchester)

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