skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: The Spence Shale Lagerstätte: an important window into Cambrian biodiversity

Abstract

The Spence Shale Member of the Langston Formation is a Cambrian (Miaolingian: Wuliuan) Lagerstätte in northeastern Utah and southeastern Idaho. It is older than the more well-known Wheeler and Marjum Lagerstätten from western Utah, and the Burgess Shale from Canada. The Spence Shale shares several species in common with these younger deposits, yet it also contains a remarkable number of unique species. Because of its relatively broad geographic distribution, and the variety of different palaeoenvironments and taphonomy, the fossil composition and likelihood of recovering weakly skeletonized (or soft-bodied) taxa varies across localities. The Spence Shale is not only widely acknowledged for its collection of soft-bodied taxa, but also for its abundant trilobites and hyoliths. Recent discoveries from the Spence include problematic taxa and insights about the nature of palaeoenvironmental and taphonomic variation between different localities.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence, KS (United States)
  2. Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence, KS (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  3. Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1573348
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-139163
Journal ID: ISSN 0016-7649
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of the Geological Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 176; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 0016-7649
Publisher:
The Geological Society of London
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES

Citation Formats

Kimmig, Julien, Strotz, Luke C., Kimmig, Sara R., Egenhoff, Sven O., and Lieberman, Bruce S. The Spence Shale Lagerstätte: an important window into Cambrian biodiversity. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1144/jgs2018-195.
Kimmig, Julien, Strotz, Luke C., Kimmig, Sara R., Egenhoff, Sven O., & Lieberman, Bruce S. The Spence Shale Lagerstätte: an important window into Cambrian biodiversity. United States. doi:10.1144/jgs2018-195.
Kimmig, Julien, Strotz, Luke C., Kimmig, Sara R., Egenhoff, Sven O., and Lieberman, Bruce S. Fri . "The Spence Shale Lagerstätte: an important window into Cambrian biodiversity". United States. doi:10.1144/jgs2018-195. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1573348.
@article{osti_1573348,
title = {The Spence Shale Lagerstätte: an important window into Cambrian biodiversity},
author = {Kimmig, Julien and Strotz, Luke C. and Kimmig, Sara R. and Egenhoff, Sven O. and Lieberman, Bruce S.},
abstractNote = {The Spence Shale Member of the Langston Formation is a Cambrian (Miaolingian: Wuliuan) Lagerstätte in northeastern Utah and southeastern Idaho. It is older than the more well-known Wheeler and Marjum Lagerstätten from western Utah, and the Burgess Shale from Canada. The Spence Shale shares several species in common with these younger deposits, yet it also contains a remarkable number of unique species. Because of its relatively broad geographic distribution, and the variety of different palaeoenvironments and taphonomy, the fossil composition and likelihood of recovering weakly skeletonized (or soft-bodied) taxa varies across localities. The Spence Shale is not only widely acknowledged for its collection of soft-bodied taxa, but also for its abundant trilobites and hyoliths. Recent discoveries from the Spence include problematic taxa and insights about the nature of palaeoenvironmental and taphonomic variation between different localities.},
doi = {10.1144/jgs2018-195},
journal = {Journal of the Geological Society},
number = 4,
volume = 176,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {3}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 1 work
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Using GIS to study palaeobiogeographic and macroevolutionary patterns in soft-bodied Cambrian arthropods
journal, July 2008

  • Hendricks, Jonathan R.; Lieberman, Bruce S.; Stigall, Alycia L.
  • Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Vol. 264, Issue 1-2
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2008.04.014

Sequence stratigraphy, cyclic facies, and lagerstätten in the Middle Cambrian Wheeler and Marjum Formations, Great Basin, Utah
journal, June 2009

  • Brett, Carlton E.; Allison, Peter A.; DeSantis, Michael K.
  • Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Vol. 277, Issue 1-2
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.02.010

The stalked filter feeder Siphusauctum lloydguntheri n. sp. from the middle Cambrian (Series 3, Stage 5) Spence Shale of Utah: its biological affinities and taphonomy
journal, August 2017

  • Kimmig, Julien; Strotz, Luke C.; Lieberman, Bruce S.
  • Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 91, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1017/jpa.2017.57

Exceptionally preserved fossil assemblages through geologic time and space
journal, August 2017


Cambrian palaeoscolecids (Cycloneuralia) from Gondwana and reappraisal of species assigned to Palaeoscolex
journal, September 2013

  • García-Bellido, Diego C.; Paterson, John R.; Edgecombe, Gregory D.
  • Gondwana Research, Vol. 24, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.gr.2012.12.002

Rare primitive deuterostomes from the Cambrian (Series 3) of Utah
journal, July 2015

  • Conway Morris, Simon; Halgedahl, Susan L.; Selden, Paul
  • Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 89, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1017/jpa.2015.40

Middle Cambrian arthropods from Utah
journal, March 2008

  • Briggs, Derek E. G.; Lieberman, Bruce S.; Hendricks, Jonathan R.
  • Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 82, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1666/06-086.1

Mechanism for Burgess Shale-type preservation
journal, March 2012

  • Gaines, R. R.; Hammarlund, E. U.; Hou, X.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 109, Issue 14
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1111784109

Graptolite (Hemichordata, Pterobranchia) preservation and identification in the Cambrian Series 3
journal, October 2015


Sedimentation of the Phyllopod Bed within the Cambrian Burgess Shale Formation of British Columbia
journal, January 2008

  • Gabbott, S. E.; Zalasiewicz, J.; Collins, D.
  • Journal of the Geological Society, Vol. 165, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1144/0016-76492007-023

Cambrian suspension-feeding tubicolous hemichordates
journal, July 2016


Fossil Diagenesis in the Burgess Shale
journal, May 2007


Occurrence of the Ordovician-type aglaspidid Tremaglaspis in the Cambrian Weeks Formation (Utah, USA)
journal, May 2013

  • Lerosey-Aubril, Rudy; Ortega-HernÁNdez, Javier; Kier, Carlo
  • Geological Magazine, Vol. 150, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1017/S001675681300037X

Ponticulocarpus, a new cornute-grade stylophoran from the Middle Cambrian Spence Shale of Utah
journal, September 1999


A new Soft-Bodied Fauna: the Pioche Formation of Nevada
journal, July 2003


Soft-bodied biota from the middle Cambrian (Drumian) Rockslide Formation, Mackenzie Mountains, northwestern Canada
journal, January 2015

  • Kimmig, Julien; Pratt, Brian R.
  • Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 89, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1017/jpa.2014.5

New records of Burgess Shale-type taxa from the middle Cambrian of Utah
journal, May 2015

  • Conway Morris, Simon; Selden, Paul A.; Gunther, Glade
  • Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 89, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1017/jpa.2015.26

Controls on Gut Phosphatisation: The Trilobites from the Weeks Formation Lagerstätte (Cambrian; Utah)
journal, March 2012


Hyoliths are Palaeozoic lophophorates
journal, January 2017

  • Moysiuk, Joseph; Smith, Martin R.; Caron, Jean-Bernard
  • Nature, Vol. 541, Issue 7637
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature20804

Chapter 4 Global distributional dynamics of Cambrian clades as revealed by Burgess Shale-type deposits
journal, January 2013

  • Hendricks, Jonathan R.
  • Geological Society, London, Memoirs, Vol. 38, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1144/M38.4

Hurdiid radiodontans from the middle Cambrian (Series 3) of Utah
journal, July 2017

  • Pates, Stephen; Daley, Allison C.; Lieberman, Bruce S.
  • Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 92, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1017/jpa.2017.11

A rare non-trilobite artiopodan from the Guzhangian (Cambrian Series 3) Weeks Formation Konservat-Lagerstätte in Utah, USA
journal, October 2014

  • Ortega-Hernández, Javier; Lerosey-Aubril, Rudy; Kier, Carlo
  • Palaeontology, Vol. 58, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1111/pala.12136

The Kinzers Formation (Pennsylvania, USA): the most diverse assemblage of Cambrian Stage 4 radiodonts
journal, July 2018


Cambrian formations and sections in part of Cordilleran trough
journal, July 1938


The Weeks Formation Konservat-Lagerstätte and the evolutionary transition of Cambrian marine life
journal, May 2018

  • Lerosey-Aubril, Rudy; Gaines, Robert R.; Hegna, Thomas A.
  • Journal of the Geological Society, Vol. 175, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1144/jgs2018-042

Lower and Middle Cambrian Stratigraphy in Northern utah and Southeastern Idaho
journal, January 1958


The Emu Bay Shale Konservat-Lagerstätte: a view of Cambrian life from East Gondwana
journal, November 2015

  • Paterson, John R.; García-Bellido, Diego C.; Jago, James B.
  • Journal of the Geological Society, Vol. 173, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1144/jgs2015-083

New eocrinoids from the Burgess Shale, southern British Columbia, Canada, and the Spence Shale, northern Utah, USA
journal, March 2006

  • Sprinkle, James; Collins, Desmond
  • Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, Vol. 43, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1139/e05-107

A new hypothesis for organic preservation of Burgess Shale taxa in the middle Cambrian Wheeler Formation, House Range, Utah
journal, May 2005

  • Gaines, Robert R.; Kennedy, Martin J.; Droser, Mary L.
  • Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Vol. 220, Issue 1-2
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2004.07.034

Paleoecology of the Greater Phyllopod Bed community, Burgess Shale
journal, February 2008

  • Caron, Jean-Bernard; Jackson, Donald A.
  • Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Vol. 258, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2007.05.023

Extensive bioturbation in a middle Cambrian Burgess Shale–type fossil Lagerstätte in northwestern Canada
journal, January 2019

  • Pratt, Brian R.; Kimmig, Julien
  • Geology, Vol. 47, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1130/G45551.1

Caryosyntrips : a radiodontan from the Cambrian of Spain, USA and Canada
journal, August 2017

  • Pates, Stephen; Daley, Allison C.
  • Papers in Palaeontology, Vol. 3, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1084

The Fezouata fossils of Morocco; an extraordinary record of marine life in the Early Ordovician
journal, July 2015

  • Van Roy, Peter; Briggs, Derek E. G.; Gaines, Robert R.
  • Journal of the Geological Society, Vol. 172, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1144/jgs2015-017

A new Metazoan from the Middle Cambrian of utah and the Nature of the Vetulicolia: a new Cambrian Metazoan from utah
journal, July 2005


A restudy of Utahcaris orion (Euarthropoda) from the Spence Shale (Middle Cambrian, Utah, USA)
journal, August 2016


The role of anoxia in the decay and mineralization of proteinaceous macro-fossils
journal, January 1988


High-resolution geochemical evidence for oxic bottom waters in three Cambrian Burgess Shale-type deposits
journal, December 2015

  • Kloss, Tristan J.; Dornbos, Stephen Q.; Chen, Jun-Yuan
  • Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Vol. 440
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.08.048

Early fossil record of Euarthropoda and the Cambrian Explosion
journal, May 2018

  • Daley, Allison C.; Antcliffe, Jonathan B.; Drage, Harriet B.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 115, Issue 21
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1719962115

Dynamic palaeoredox and exceptional preservation in the Cambrian Spence Shale of Utah: Exceptional preservation in the Spence Shale
journal, April 2011


Geophysical and geological signatures of relative sea level change in the upper Wheeler Formation, Drum Mountains, West-Central Utah: A perspective into exceptional preservation of fossils
journal, June 2009

  • Halgedahl, S. L.; Jarrard, R. D.; Brett, C. E.
  • Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Vol. 277, Issue 1-2
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.02.011

Declining volatility, a general property of disparate systems: from fossils, to stocks, to the stars: DECLINING VOLATILITY
journal, February 2013

  • Lieberman, Bruce S.; Melott, Adrian L.
  • Palaeontology, Vol. 56, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1111/pala.12017

A superarmored lobopodian from the Cambrian of China and early disparity in the evolution of Onychophora
journal, June 2015

  • Yang, Jie; Ortega-Hernández, Javier; Gerber, Sylvain
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 112, Issue 28
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1505596112

New Approaches to Understanding the Mechanics of Burgess Shale-type Deposits: From the Micron Scale to the Global Picture
journal, June 2005


    Works referencing / citing this record:

    A superarmored lobopodian from the Cambrian of China and early disparity in the evolution of Onychophora
    journal, June 2015

    • Yang, Jie; Ortega-Hernández, Javier; Gerber, Sylvain
    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 112, Issue 28
    • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1505596112

    A new hypothesis for organic preservation of Burgess Shale taxa in the middle Cambrian Wheeler Formation, House Range, Utah
    journal, May 2005

    • Gaines, Robert R.; Kennedy, Martin J.; Droser, Mary L.
    • Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Vol. 220, Issue 1-2
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2004.07.034

    A rare non-trilobite artiopodan from the Guzhangian (Cambrian Series 3) Weeks Formation Konservat-Lagerstätte in Utah, USA
    journal, October 2014

    • Ortega-Hernández, Javier; Lerosey-Aubril, Rudy; Kier, Carlo
    • Palaeontology, Vol. 58, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1111/pala.12136

    The Emu Bay Shale Konservat-Lagerstätte: a view of Cambrian life from East Gondwana
    journal, November 2015

    • Paterson, John R.; García-Bellido, Diego C.; Jago, James B.
    • Journal of the Geological Society, Vol. 173, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1144/jgs2015-083

    Declining volatility, a general property of disparate systems: from fossils, to stocks, to the stars: DECLINING VOLATILITY
    journal, February 2013

    • Lieberman, Bruce S.; Melott, Adrian L.
    • Palaeontology, Vol. 56, Issue 6
    • DOI: 10.1111/pala.12017

    Hyoliths are Palaeozoic lophophorates
    journal, January 2017

    • Moysiuk, Joseph; Smith, Martin R.; Caron, Jean-Bernard
    • Nature, Vol. 541, Issue 7637
    • DOI: 10.1038/nature20804

    Hurdiid radiodontans from the middle Cambrian (Series 3) of Utah
    journal, July 2017

    • Pates, Stephen; Daley, Allison C.; Lieberman, Bruce S.
    • Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 92, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1017/jpa.2017.11

    High-resolution geochemical evidence for oxic bottom waters in three Cambrian Burgess Shale-type deposits
    journal, December 2015

    • Kloss, Tristan J.; Dornbos, Stephen Q.; Chen, Jun-Yuan
    • Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Vol. 440
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.08.048

    The Weeks Formation Konservat-Lagerstätte and the evolutionary transition of Cambrian marine life
    journal, May 2018

    • Lerosey-Aubril, Rudy; Gaines, Robert R.; Hegna, Thomas A.
    • Journal of the Geological Society, Vol. 175, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1144/jgs2018-042

    New Approaches to Understanding the Mechanics of Burgess Shale-type Deposits: From the Micron Scale to the Global Picture
    journal, June 2005


    Sedimentation of the Phyllopod Bed within the Cambrian Burgess Shale Formation of British Columbia
    journal, January 2008

    • Gabbott, S. E.; Zalasiewicz, J.; Collins, D.
    • Journal of the Geological Society, Vol. 165, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1144/0016-76492007-023

    Caryosyntrips : a radiodontan from the Cambrian of Spain, USA and Canada
    journal, August 2017

    • Pates, Stephen; Daley, Allison C.
    • Papers in Palaeontology, Vol. 3, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1084

    Dynamic palaeoredox and exceptional preservation in the Cambrian Spence Shale of Utah: Exceptional preservation in the Spence Shale
    journal, April 2011


    The Fezouata fossils of Morocco; an extraordinary record of marine life in the Early Ordovician
    journal, July 2015

    • Van Roy, Peter; Briggs, Derek E. G.; Gaines, Robert R.
    • Journal of the Geological Society, Vol. 172, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1144/jgs2015-017

    Rare primitive deuterostomes from the Cambrian (Series 3) of Utah
    journal, July 2015

    • Conway Morris, Simon; Halgedahl, Susan L.; Selden, Paul
    • Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 89, Issue 4
    • DOI: 10.1017/jpa.2015.40

    Exceptionally preserved fossil assemblages through geologic time and space
    journal, August 2017


    Fossil Diagenesis in the Burgess Shale
    journal, May 2007


    Geophysical and geological signatures of relative sea level change in the upper Wheeler Formation, Drum Mountains, West-Central Utah: A perspective into exceptional preservation of fossils
    journal, June 2009

    • Halgedahl, S. L.; Jarrard, R. D.; Brett, C. E.
    • Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Vol. 277, Issue 1-2
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.02.011

    Sequence stratigraphy, cyclic facies, and lagerstätten in the Middle Cambrian Wheeler and Marjum Formations, Great Basin, Utah
    journal, June 2009

    • Brett, Carlton E.; Allison, Peter A.; DeSantis, Michael K.
    • Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Vol. 277, Issue 1-2
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.02.010

    A new Metazoan from the Middle Cambrian of utah and the Nature of the Vetulicolia: a new Cambrian Metazoan from utah
    journal, July 2005


    The stalked filter feeder Siphusauctum lloydguntheri n. sp. from the middle Cambrian (Series 3, Stage 5) Spence Shale of Utah: its biological affinities and taphonomy
    journal, August 2017

    • Kimmig, Julien; Strotz, Luke C.; Lieberman, Bruce S.
    • Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 91, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1017/jpa.2017.57

    Early fossil record of Euarthropoda and the Cambrian Explosion
    journal, May 2018

    • Daley, Allison C.; Antcliffe, Jonathan B.; Drage, Harriet B.
    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 115, Issue 21
    • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1719962115

    Cambrian palaeoscolecids (Cycloneuralia) from Gondwana and reappraisal of species assigned to Palaeoscolex
    journal, September 2013

    • García-Bellido, Diego C.; Paterson, John R.; Edgecombe, Gregory D.
    • Gondwana Research, Vol. 24, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.gr.2012.12.002

    Graptolite (Hemichordata, Pterobranchia) preservation and identification in the Cambrian Series 3
    journal, October 2015


    Controls on Gut Phosphatisation: The Trilobites from the Weeks Formation Lagerstätte (Cambrian; Utah)
    journal, March 2012


    Middle Cambrian arthropods from Utah
    journal, March 2008

    • Briggs, Derek E. G.; Lieberman, Bruce S.; Hendricks, Jonathan R.
    • Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 82, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1666/06-086.1

    Soft-bodied biota from the middle Cambrian (Drumian) Rockslide Formation, Mackenzie Mountains, northwestern Canada
    journal, January 2015

    • Kimmig, Julien; Pratt, Brian R.
    • Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 89, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1017/jpa.2014.5

    Cambrian suspension-feeding tubicolous hemichordates
    journal, July 2016


    New records of Burgess Shale-type taxa from the middle Cambrian of Utah
    journal, May 2015

    • Conway Morris, Simon; Selden, Paul A.; Gunther, Glade
    • Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 89, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1017/jpa.2015.26

    Paleoecology of the Greater Phyllopod Bed community, Burgess Shale
    journal, February 2008

    • Caron, Jean-Bernard; Jackson, Donald A.
    • Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Vol. 258, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2007.05.023

    New eocrinoids from the Burgess Shale, southern British Columbia, Canada, and the Spence Shale, northern Utah, USA
    journal, March 2006

    • Sprinkle, James; Collins, Desmond
    • Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, Vol. 43, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1139/e05-107

    Mechanism for Burgess Shale-type preservation
    journal, March 2012

    • Gaines, R. R.; Hammarlund, E. U.; Hou, X.
    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 109, Issue 14
    • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1111784109

    Using GIS to study palaeobiogeographic and macroevolutionary patterns in soft-bodied Cambrian arthropods
    journal, July 2008

    • Hendricks, Jonathan R.; Lieberman, Bruce S.; Stigall, Alycia L.
    • Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Vol. 264, Issue 1-2
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2008.04.014