Ostracodes swallowed by Palaeozoic corals?



Middle Devonian heliolitids and favositids from Central Bohemia, belonging to Heliolites ‘intermedius’ LeMaitre and Favosites goldfussi Orbigny, incorporated ostracode shells within their living corallite structures. The ostracode shells were sealed in by skeletal tissue that was septal in origin (Heliolites) or they were roofed over by tabulae (Favosites). The foreign shell was near the axis of the polyp when trapped within the coral skeleton. Only ostracodes, not other rounded shells or sedimentary particles, were trapped in this way. Approximately one in 30 favositid corallites and one in 70 heliolitid corallites display this peculiar condition, where the ostracode shells seem to have been swallowed by the polyps. A probable scenario involves the injury of the mouth area and the trapping of the ostracodes. A high probability that the basal part of the polyp experienced a controlled penetration is the most striking part of the process. □Favositids, heliolitids, ostracodes, coral growth violence, behavior, Middle Devonian, Bohemia.