Spicules of sponges and fragments of other organisms, such as molluscs, polyzoa, foraminifera and brachiopods, often occur in flint, and may be partly or wholly silicified with retention of their original structure.
There is, however, a considerable amount of resemblance between the lophophore of Phoronis australis, with its spirally twisted ends, and that of a typical Brachiopod; nor do the structural details of the adult Brachiopods forbid the view that they may be related to Phoronis.
The typical Silurian rocks are richly fossiliferous, the shales containing trilobites, the sandstones many brachiopods, and the limestones a rich coral and bryozoan fauna.
The upper divisions consist of bituminous limestones, clay-slates, alum-slate, and contain numerous species of trilobites of the genera Paradoxides, Conocoryphe, Agnostus, Sphaerophthalmus, Peltura, &c. The Ordovician formation occurs in two distinct facies - the one shaley and containing graptolites; the other calcareous, with brachiopods, trilobites, &c. The most constant of the calcareous divisions is the Orthoceras limestone, a red or grey limestone with Megalaspis and Orthoceras.
The groups of organisms utilized for zoning and correlation by different workers include brachiopods, pelecypods, cephalopods, corals, fishes and plants; and the results of the comparison of the faunas and floras of different areas where Carboniferous rocks occur are generalized in the table below.