in Rhynie chert
While the oceans were teeming with life in the Lower Devonian,
including giant arthropods and big fish, one would have to look hard
to find creatures among the sparse vegetation of terrestrial
This picture may visualize the situation in a funny way. It shows
sections of a land plant, including a capsule with spores, and a
creature apparently drowned in flooding, all overgrown with microbial
slime with confusing contours. Width of the picture 22mm.
For details see
Rhynie Chert News 9.
An overview of the small animals found in the Rhynie chert is given at
. There it is stated that "the Rhynie fauna is
now the most diverse associated freshwater and terrestrial fauna known
from the Devonian and earlier periods of geological time".
overview, however, is not up-to-date. A tiny
nematode inhabiting the stomatal
chambers of Aglaophyton
has been added to the zoo in 2008 .
As the latest addition
and big surprise, the oldest rotifer ever seen has been found engaged
in a dramatic scene involving a hitherto undescribed spherical alga
colony: See Rhynie
Chert News 23.
Soon after publication of the hitherto one and only paper on the
in 2004 , some uncertainty of affiliation has
been removed by means of details seen on own finds: Rhynie
Chert News 12.
Creatures feeding on tissue of live plants and on spores
have left their traces but have remained elusive .
For more information derived from own finds see Crawling creatures
in the list of issues.
Poinar Jr., H. Kerp, H. Hass:
phyticum ... a Devonian nematode associated with early
Anderson et al.: A new univalve crustacean from the
Early Devonian Rhynie chert hot-spring complex,
Trans. Roy. Soc. Edinburgh, Earth
Sciences 94(2004 for 2003), 355-369.