New arthropod traces from the Lower Triassic Kockatea Shale Formation, northern Perth Basin, Western Australia: ichnology, taphonomy and palaeoecology

Authors

  • Mao Luo,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Earth and Environment, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
    • Correspondence to: M. Luo, School of Earth and Environment, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia. E-mail: mao850503@163.com

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  • Zhong-Qiang Chen

    1. State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), Wuhan, China
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Abstract

Abundant scratching traces are described from the Early Triassic Kockatea Shale Formation in the Northampton area of the northern Perth Basin, Western Australia. Except for the Radichnus trace that represents grazing of a possible decapod mecochirids, Scalpoichnus minchinensis igen. and isp. nov. is established to accommodate other scratching sculptures, which might have been produced by arthropods that share similar feeding behaviours to those of decapods. These arthropod traces occurred on a mat-bound substratum defined by wrinkle structures. Microbial mats may have served as food resources for trace-makers feeding on the substratum. Furthermore, microbial envelopes functioning as a sole veneer in early diagenesis acted as a crucial role for the preservation of those shallow-tiered engraving traces. Abundant arthropod traces indicate frequent grazing activities probably by decapods or organisms having similar feeding habits upon microbial mat-bound substratum, implying that the deposit-feeders or omnivores survived on the matgrounds in the aftermath of the end-Permian mass extinction in Gondwanaland. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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