On some Mississippian (Carboniferous) brachiopods from neptunian dykes of the Harz Mountains (central Germany)

  • Bernard MottequinEmail author
  • Dieter Weyer
Original Paper


Different generations of Mississippian neptunian dykes developed in the drowned Iberg–Winterberg Devonian seamount (Harz Mountains, Germany) yielded poorly diverse and generally small-sized brachiopod faunas dominated by spire-bearers (athyridides, spiriferides) and including several homeomorphic spiriferides. Four limestone levels are distinguished: Erdbach-II Limestone (Scaliognathus anchoralis Zone and basal Pseudognathodus homopunctatus Zone, late Ivorian and basal early Viséan), Actinotheca Limestone (Pseudognathodus homopunctatus Zone, Arundian–Holkerian–early Asbian), Goniatite Limestone (Gnathodus bilineatus and Lochriea nodosa zones, late Asbian–early Brigantian), Ibergirhynchia Limestone (Lochriea nodosa Zone, early Brigantian). The faunas (dominant cephalopod facies) of the traditional ‘Erdbach Limestone’ in all older literature related to the Iberg–Winterberg Massif are a mixture of the two older horizons (light crinoidal limestones; late Ivorian to early Asbian), of which the age of their fossil content (especially the well-studied trilobites) needs to be revised by conodonts. New spiriferide genera are described, namely Roemerithyris gen. nov. and Felsithyris gen. nov. with Spirifer macrogaster Roemer 1852 and Felsithyris hercynica gen. et sp. nov. as type species, respectively. The latter species is the most common element of an almost monospecific assemblage of early–middle Viséan age. Regeneration traces after fish attacks, developed on a spiriferide shell, are illustrated.


Brachiopods Tournaisian Viséan Neptunian dykes Germany 



The authors are grateful to Hartmut Knappe and Helmut Ruhmer for the donation of their material from the Winterberg quarry to the Museum of Natural History (Leibniz Institute) at Humboldt University, Berlin, as well as to Frank Trostheide for the loan of material from his collection. We also acknowledge Michael Amler and Peter Müller for the loan of material from the Erdbach Limestone of the Rhenish Massif, Manfred Menning for his advices on Figure 2, and Albert Kollar who helped us to trace a loan of ‘macrogaster’ specimens among the J. L. Carter collection of the Carnegie Museum (Pittsburgh). The SEM images of the brachiopods were taken at the Royal Belgian Institute of natural Sciences at Brussels by Julien Cillis. The manuscript benefited from the thorough reviews of Ulrich Jansen and Maria-Luisa Martínez-Chacón.

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.O.D. Earth and History of LifeRoyal Belgian Institute of Natural SciencesBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Museum of Natural History (Leibniz Institute) at Humboldt UniversityBerlinGermany

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