Thaumatoporella (incertae sedis) represents a widespread constituent in Middle Triassic–Cretaceous shallow-marine carbonates of the Tethyan realm and exhibit a wide morphological variability. Seemingly monostromatic cell-layers intermingled with and incorporated into bacinellid crusts (“Bacinella irregularis”) were described as Thaumatoporella bridges or ladders in the literature. This appearance of Thaumatoporella also accounted for the creation of the genus Polygonella ELLIOTT and its misleading comparison with single-layered crustose corallinacean alga, e.g., genus Lithoporella. In fact, these “ladders” belong to the roof part of thaumatoporellaceans encrusting microbial crusts that subsequently became overgrown and thus incorporated. Often a rudimentary thin basal layer and an elongated sparitic void corresponding to the former body of Thaumatoporella, are present evidencing that its morphology is that of a variously shaped body (free or attaching) enclosed by an all-round wall. Irregular lobate and thin-walled thaumatoporellacens occurring in “bacinellid” fabrics might be interpreted as crust-dwellers.
Thaumatoporella ladders unraveled,
Studia UBB Geologia
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