of middle and late Carboniferous (Serpukhovian and Pennsylvanian) conodont
faunas from Britain and Ireland is quite poor at present. This is largely a
reflection of the widespread shift from carbonate to predominantly
siliciclastic sedimentary deposition during this particular time interval. The
latter (non-calcareous lithologies) are largely unsuitable for conodont processing,
as they cannot be acid-etched to recover these phosphatic microfossils. A 56m stratigraphic
section through dark organic-rich shales belonging to the Clare Shale Formation
was examined and logged close to Paradise House, at Ballynacally on the banks
of the Fergus Estuary in County Clare. The succession contains several discrete
goniatite bearing marine bands, which indicated a H1a to R1a
(Bashkirian; early Pennsylvanian) age to previous workers. The section also contains
several calcareous nodules, interbedded with the shales, which have produced
conodonts, including Declinognathodus
noduliferus. Perhaps more significantly, several conodont forms have been
recovered from the base of the sequence indicative of the late Serpukhovian.
This suggests that the Paradise House Clare Shale section may actually straddle
the Mid-Carboniferous boundary.
(Awarded Best Poster Prize).