Gamascolex Palaeoscolecid Worm Fossil
Time: Upper Ordovician
is 205 mm long (curve measure) by up to 7 mm wide on a 210 mm by 135 mm
Ksar Tamarna, Bou Nemrou Quarry near El Kaid Errami Valley, Tafilalt,
The Fezouata and Tafilalt biotas provide an exceptional representation
of exquisitely-preserved Ordovician life from Morocco. Both show parallels
to the older Burgess Shale fauna of the Cambrian of Canada. The main
sandstone quarry at Ben Nemrou has been commercially exploited for
fossils in much the same way as the Weeks Formation of Utah, USA.
This large palaeoscolecid worm represents the first example of the
class from the Ordovician of the African Continent. Typically preservation
of such fine details would be expected from mud and silt. Here, however,
the preservation is in fine to medium grained micaceous sandstone.
It is thought that the decaying carcass was covered by a microbial
mat, followed by rapid burying with little to know post-mortem transport.
The species was named in honor of Peter van Roy, a researcher who
has made many contributions to the study of the Ordovician biota of
Morocco. This is the FIRST specimen of this unusual taxon
I have been able to secure.
click fossil pictures