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Kilmore-Drumbullog townlands ditch, NewtownbutlerFermanagh
Ditch section between Kilmore and Drumbullog townlands, Newtownbutler, Co. Fermanagh; fossiliferous grey calcareous shale of Benbulben Shale Formation.
Summary Full report
Site Type: Stream section
Site Status: PASSI
District: Fermanagh District Council
Grid Reference: H43722840
Rock Age: Carboniferous (Holkerian, Visean)
Rock Name: Benbulben Shale Formation
Rock Type: Mudstone, Sand, Sandstone
Fossil Groups: Brachiopod, Coral, Crinoid, Foraminifera, Polyzoan
Other interest: No data, Marine sediments

Summary of site:

This stream cum drainage ditch lies in a drumlin belt and is notable for its exceptionally rich fauna of visible and microscopic organisms enclosed within the Benbulben Shale Formation of the Carboniferous period. The outcrop is 10 m long and varies between 2 and 3 m high. It exposes dark grey, lime-rich shaley and silty mudstones which were channelled as they formed. Individual channels are best recognised as lenticular fills, usually containing fragmented corals and other shelly debris. Two sandstone channel fills 3 and 6 cm thick respectively, contain fragmented shelly fossils while the most obvious channel is 1.5 m wide, 7 cm deep and is occupied by a limestone. The most plentiful fossils are crinoids, brachiopod shells and their spines, corals and bryozoa. The microfossils are of primitive plants in five recognisable groups and foraminifera including genera and species indicating a time stage called the Holkerian, around 340 million years old.

Of the larger fossils three large horn shaped corals stand out, Pal'osmilia murchisoni, Siphonophyllia garwoodi and a species of Koninckophyllum. The fossils have all been transported from a richly populated shallow sea bed. Their broken nature and the fact that they occupy shallow channels, is clear evidence of movement as is their presence in deposits formed well below the depth that light can penetrate. There are no immediate threats to this site beyond natural overgrowth.

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