Scolecodonts are the chitinous mouth-parts of marine polychaetous worms. They are organic and are commonly found as disassociated elements in association with acritarchs and chitinozoans in marine shales. They have a patchy geological record from the Early Ordovician to Recent. They are most diverse in the Upper Ordovician-Devonian shallow marine limestones and shales. Though the biostratigraphical utility of scolecodonts has yet to be realized, attempts to use them as geothermometers have proved successful.
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