An ethological framework for animal bioerosion trace fossils upon mineral substrates with proposal of a new class, fixichnia

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Abstract

Animal bioerosion trace fossils upon mineral substrates are analyzed from the point of view of the Seilacherian ethological classification. Several of the currently accepted ethological classes: cubichnia, fugichnia, repichnia, fodinichnia, agrichnia, calichnia and aedificichnia are not represented in these substrates. This fact points out a lower behavioral diversity of hard substrate trace fossils when compared with soft sediment trace fossils. Bioerosion traces can be classified in just five classes: domichnia, pascichnia, equilibrichnia, praedichnia and fixichnia. Fixichnia is here erected to gather superficial etching scars resulting from the anchoring of fixation of sessile epiliths by means of a soft or skeletal body part. Praedichnia and fixichnia are exclusive of the bioerosion realm.

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