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Clusters of discinid brachiopod shells observed in Devonian and Carboniferous strata are interpreted as original life assemblages. The clusters consist of Gigadiscina lessardi (from Algeria), Oehlertella tarutensis (from Libya), Orbiculoidea bulla and O. nitida (both from England). Grape-like clusters of the Recent species Discinisca lamellosa and D. laevis are described and their spacing and size-frequency distribution are discussed. The possible function of clustering as protection against grazing pressure is suggested. •doi:10.3140/bull.geosci.1161 fatcat:z22svbfmonh6xhcstyrwjtvola