Swiss Journal of Palaeontology

, Volume 135, Issue 2, pp 343–348 | Cite as

Reworked crinoidal cherts and screwstones (Mississippian, Tournaisian/Visean) in the bedload of the River Maas, south-east Netherlands

  • Stephen K. DonovanEmail author
  • John W. M. Jagt
  • Mart J. M. Deckers


Rare Palaeozoic chert clasts collected from gravels in the bedload of the River Maas in the province of Limburg, south-east Netherlands, are rich in crinoid debris. These were transported during the Late Pliocene–Pleistocene by fluvial action from the southern Ardennes Massif (Namur-Dinant area, southern Belgium) and are of Early Carboniferous (Mississippian) age. Clasts are either completely chertified or may preserve macrofossils as natural moulds in a chert matrix; the latter are screwstones, a well-known lithology from rocks of this age. One screwstone preserves its fossiliferous debris, mainly crinoid columnals and pluricolumnals, in exquisite detail, including an archetypal ‘screw’, the mould of the axial canal. But the delicate ‘screw’ is not always preserved after fluvial transport. Further, the best-preserved specimen retains a mould of a pit in the latus, Oichnus simplex Bromley, probably a domicile excavated by an unmineralized invertebrate after the death of the crinoid.


Reworking Taphonomy Silicification Ichnology Oichnus simplex 



We thank Annalet Willems (Schimmert) for donating her late husband’s (Paul Baggen) collection to the Natuurhistorisch Museum Maastricht (compare Baggen 2015; Jagt et al. 2015). Constructive reviews by Dr Fiona E. Fearnhead (Natural History Museum, London) and a second, anonymous referee are gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Akademie der Naturwissenschaften Schweiz (SCNAT) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen K. Donovan
    • 1
    Email author
  • John W. M. Jagt
    • 2
  • Mart J. M. Deckers
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GeologyNaturalis Biodiversity CenterLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Natuurhistorisch Museum MaastrichtMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.TegelenThe Netherlands

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