8th International Brachiopod Congress



Brachiopods in a changing planet: from the past to the future



Milan 11-14 September 2018

Field trips




ME1) Survey of the collections of Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano and of Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra “A. Desio” (only through early request).


ME2) Field trip to Arda and Stirone River Pleistocene marine successions

Organized by: Gaia Crippa and Fabrizio Felletti (Università di Milano), Gianluca Raineri (Parco Regionale dello Stirone e del Piacenziano), Sergio Raffi (Università di Bologna)

This mid-congress excursion will lead you to see marine successions with Pleistocene brachiopods in the wonderful natural landscape of the Arda and Stirone River in Northern Italy. The excursion will be complemented with a visit of the beautiful geological and palaeontological museum in the medieval town of Castell’Arquato. Participants will combine scientific and historical sites with good food.



ME3) Field trip to Grigna Mountains Triassic marine successions

Organized by: Maurizio Gaetani (Università di Milano)

This mid-congress excursion will allow you to see the transgressive carbonate succession of the Grigna Mountains. Participants will be able to see the Tetractinella and Piarorhynchella beds in Northern Grigna and have spectacular views of the Southern Alps and the Lake of Como.





With the exception of the field-excursion in the Dolomites, which will start from Milan, for the other pre- and post-congress excursions participants will have to purchase their own flight ticket (transport) to reach the locality where the excursions start (Sicily, UK and Spain).

More details will be provided in the Second Circular.


E1) Spain: Palaeozoic and Mesozoic Brachiopods of East Spain

Organized by: Fernando García Joral (Complutense University of Madrid), Enrique Villas (University of Zaragoza), José Francisco Baeza-Carratalá (University of Alicante)

Dates: pre-congress, 4 days (6–9 September 2018)

Field trip highlights: This is a 4-day-excursion to visit several localities in Central-East Spain. We will witness successions representing the drift of the Gondwana Mediterranean margin from subpolar to subtropical latitudes during the early Palaeozoic. We will also be able to compare NW-European and Mediterranean Jurassic brachiopod assemblages, and to observe the extinction and recovery of brachiopods across the Early Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event. Besides brachiopods, we will also have the opportunity to visit some places of great historical and heritage value, such as Molina de Aragón, Daroca, Albarracín or Teruel; this last city is regarded as the "town of Mudéjar" (Moorish-influenced architecture) a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

1st day – Participants will be picked up from Madrid City Centre and airport and driven to Molina de Aragón (Central Iberian Range), to visit a key locality with rich assemblages of Lower Jurassic brachiopods of the NW-European province.

2nd day – Visit to Ordovician to Devonian outcrops with brachiopods in the Eastern Iberian Chain, changing from orthid-dominated during the Ordovician to spiriferid-strophomenid dominated during early Devonian.

3rd day – Visit to see Middle and Upper Jurassic assemblages of brachiopods close to the village of Albarracín and in the Jiloca Valley.

4th day – Drive to Alicante. Visit to see Lower Jurassic brachiopod assemblages of the Mediterranean Province in the Eastern Subbetic Range. Dinner at a beach in Alicante, with the possibility to take a swim in the Mediterranean Sea.




Left: Lower Jurassic brachiopod shell bed in the Eastern Subbetic. Right: Mudéjar Tower at Teruel.


E2) Southern Alps (Italy): Upper Permian to Middle Triassic brachiopod beds of the Dolomites

Organized by: Renato Posenato (Università di Ferrara), Maurizio Gaetani and Lucia Angiolini (Università di Milano), Davide Bassi, Piero Gianolla and Michele Morsilli (Università di Ferrara), Massimo Bernardi (Muse, Trento), Simonetta Cirilli, Roberto Rettori and Amalia Spina (Università di Perugia), Maria Cristina Perri (Università di Bologna), Herwig Prinoth (Museum Ladin Castel de Tor, Bolzano)

Dates: post-congress, 4 days (15–18 September 2018)

Field trip highlights: This is a 4-day-excursion to visit some key-sections of the Dolomites recording the last Palaeozoic marine assemblages, including the large sized shells of Comelicania species (Bellerophon Formation), the Lower Triassic disaster taxa survived to the end-Permian mass extinction (Orbicoelia and lingulide beds, Werfen Formation), and the Anisian recovery of the stenotopic marine organisms including the rhynchonelliform brachiopods (e.g., Tetractinella), corals and calcareous algae (Monte Rite and Dont Formations).

1st day – The Monte Rite succession (Monte Rite and Dont Fms, Anisian, Middle Triassic): the recovery of rhynchonelliform brachiopods (e.g., Ptychomentzelia and Tetractinella beds).

2nd day – The Sass de Putia succession (Bellerophon Fm, Changhsingian, Upper Permian) representing the very last moment of Palaeozoic life (e.g., Comelicania and Ombonia beds); visit to the Museum of Castel de Tor (Val Badia).

3rd day – The Bulla and Tesero sections (Bellerophon and Werfen Fm, Changhsingian, Upper Permian – Induan, Lower Triassic): the effects of end-Permian mass extinction on the marine biota (e.g., Orbicoelia and lingulid beds of Werfen Formation); visit to the Museum of Predazzo where rich Middle Triassic brachiopod collections are kept.

4th day – Visit to the Mummy of the Similaun Man (Holocene, Bolzano Museum).




Left: Sass de Putia Mt. The sedimentary succession from the Upper Permian Bellerophon Fm to the Middle Triassic carbonate platform is here exposed. This locality provided rich Changhsingian brachiopod faunas including, among other, Comelicania, Janiceps and Ombonia. Right: Comelicania dalpiazi from the Bellerophon Fm (Changhsingian).


E3) United Kingdom: Palaeozoic brachiopods of England and Wales

Organized by: David Harper (University of Durham), Lucia Angiolini and Giovanna Della Porta (Università di Milano) and Michael Stephenson (British Geological Survey)

Dates: post-congress, 4 days (15–18 September 2018)

Field trip highlights: This is a 4-day-excursion to visit some key-sections in England and Wales. It includes the spectacular Gigantoproductus beds of giant brachiopods that colonized the Palaeotethys shores during the Mississippian, reef-brachiopods of Carboniferous mud-mounds and the abundant and diverse brachiopod faunas of the classic Upper Ordovician and Silurian successions of the Shropshire region, dominated by orthides and strophomenides, within the Anglo-Welsh province.

1st day – Drive to Derbyshire from airport.

2nd day – Visit to Ricklow, Once-a-Week and Brick quarries, and Linen and Wensley dales where the inner to middle ramp facies of the Eyam Limestone overlie the mud mounds of the Monsal Dale Limestone and contain spectacular Gigantoproductus assemblages.

3rd day - 4th day – Drive to Ludlow. Visit key localities around Ludlow in the Wenlock Limestone and associated units. A number of classic localities within the Upper Ordovician (Caradoc) and the lower Silurian (Llandovery) exposed in and adjacent to the Onny Valley contain rich brachiopod faunas.

4th day (evening) – Return to London (Stansted airport).




Left: Gigantoproductus bed at Ricklow Quarry. Large specimens occur in dense life and neighbourhood assemblages forming thick (2m) and laterally persistent shell beds (likely over several square km). Right: Gigantoproductus bed occur in picturesque Derbyshire countryside.


E4) Sicily (Italy): Triassic to Pleistocene brachiopod beds of Sicily.

Organized by: Carolina D’Arpa (Museo G.G. Gemmellaro), Pietro Di Stefano (Università di Palermo), Antonietta Rosso (Università di Catania), Mauro Agate (Università di Palermo), Carolina Di Patti (Museo G.G. Gemmellaro), Rossana Sanfilippo (Università di Catania), Giovanni Surdi (Museo G.G. Gemmellaro)

Dates: post-congress, 4 days (15–18 September 2018)

Field trip highlights: This is a 4-day excursion to the Upper Triassic to Pleistocene sections where the most important brachiopod assemblages of Sicily have been collected. These successions crop out along the North-Eastern side of Sicily across different landscapes with beautiful seaviews. In addition, this excursion offers the possibility to visit the Gemmellaro brachiopod collections stored in the homonym museum; the excursion may end with the exciting ascent of the Etna volcano.

1st day – The “Monti di Palermo” successions with Upper Triassic-Lower Jurassic brachiopod assemblages.

2nd day – The Pliocene-Pleistocene succession of Altavilla Milicia (Palermo) with molluscs and brachiopods shell beds. Visit to the G.G. Gemmellaro Museum of Palermo University where the rich brachiopod collections of Gemmellaro are kept. The collections come from Upper Permian to Upper Jurassic beds of West Sicily; among them is the famous collection of Permian fossils from the “Valle del Sosio”.

3rd day – The Pliocene-Pleistocene successions of Capo Milazzo Peninsula (Messina); many of the taxa established by Philippi, Costa and Seguenza (Sphenarina, Terebratula, Terebratulina) were collected in these successions.

4th day – The Pliocene-Pleistocene deposits with brachiopods from the Messina area and the Messina strait; visit to the Etna volcano.




Left: View of the Gulf of Palermo. Right: Etna volcano.





8th International Brachiopod Congress: "Brachiopod in a changing planet: from the past to the future". 8brachcongress@unimi.it