The ~1000. Ma Torridon Group of northwest Scotland are here shown to contain a rich diversity of organic walled microfossils preserved in exceptional detail within sedimentary phosphate. The phosphatic nodules and bands in which they occur are autochthonous, as are the organic fossils they contain. The associated sedimentology of this phosphate is shown to be consistent with a lacustrine setting. Informal taxonomic treatment of the microfossils allows statistical assessment of the relative abundances of different morphotypes across a range of lacustrine environments. Exceptional preservation of pristine organic-walled eukaryotes and prokaryotes, together with a taphonomic spectrum in both physicochemical and biological degradational conditions allows a picture to be built of the earliest lacustrine ecological communities. © 2011 Elsevier B.V..
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