Conagher ASSI

Protected area type: Areas of Special Scientific Interest
Feature type: 
  • Earth Science
  • Fermanagh
Council: Fermanagh and Omagh
Guidance and literature: Conagher ASSI

Conagher ASSI is of particular importance as it is one of only three sites in Northern Ireland that yield well preserved fish material.

Although only one species has been recorded here, the amount of material and the presence of plant remains enhance the over-all value of the site. The site comprises of rocks of the Meenymore Formation, part of the Leitrim group. These rocks date back to the carboniferous period and are some 330 million years old.

The fossils are all of Elonichthys serratus, they have been found in varying states, for virtually intact to very fragmented.

By interpreting the rocks and fossils at the site it has been possible to gain an understanding of the environmental conditions at the time. The area had a marine influence, as indicated by the presence of goniatites, (an extinct marine mollusc related to squid and octopus), below the fish horizons. Oxygen poor conditions would have prevailed, which accounts for the well-preserved fish fossils.

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