SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

An adult Ceratites semipartitus encrusted by epifaunal Placunopsis ostracina is described. The epizoans are orientated in relation to the slope of the substratum and according to their time of attachment to the ammonoid shell. Geometrical analysis of the orientation leads to the following conclusions: (1) During and after the growth of the last whorl, several, probably 4, swarms of larvae of Placunopsis settled upon the Ceratites specimen. (2) The dead body was for some time kept upright, the living chamber showing upwards. During this time, larvae of Placunopsis became attached again. (3) The ammonoid shell was then laid down, its left flank in contact with the sediment. In this position it was for the last time settled upon by Placunopsis which died whilst juvenile.

Provided that the phases of attachment corresponded to annual spawning periods of Placunopsis, the last whorl of the Ceratites was formed with decreasing velocity of growth within about 4 years.

Placunopsis became attached with its right valve, the posterior end of the body showing upwards, and the direction of growth being declined from the vertical by 65°. Placunopsis either preferred to settle within a distinct zone of the living chamber of the ammonoid close to the lowermost part of the shell or was able to grow up here only. Ceratites semipartitus was therefore probably nectonic.

Both the host and the epizoan were influenced to their disadvantage by their fatal partnership. A relationship of this kind therefore should not be called a symbiosis.