Post-pathological keel-loss compensation in ammonoid growth


Alain Morard [e-mail:], Institut de Géologie et Paléontologie, BFSH-2, Université de Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland;


Among the various pathologies documented in ammonoids, impairs affecting the apertural margin may have long-lasting sequelae on subsequent shell geometry. An interesting healing pattern, known as sculptural compensation, led to the permanent replacement of an ornament by adjacent sculptural elements. Moreover, in several ventrally impaired individuals the symmetry was preserved. Those developed annular ribs in place of any previous ventral ornamentation (keel, sulcus or smooth area). This phenomenon is known from diverse ammonite families. Monestieria resouchei (Monestier 1931), type species of ‘Monestieriinae’ Sapunov 1965, displays exactly that type of annularly-ribbed morphology and has been shown to be otherwise similar to species of Grammoceratinae Buckman 1904 occurring in the same beds, thus corroborating its pathological nature and leading to the rejection of that taxon. Now, keel absence in Praehaploceras Monestier 1931 and Buckmanites Guex 1973 cannot be explained by the same process as they do not have annular ribs. Moreover, the absence of any clue of malformation, their relative frequency and specific characteristics exclude the previously suggested synonymies with Pseudolioceras Buckman 1889 as equivalent pathological forms. In consequence, their rehabilitation is herein proposed. They should be included within Harpoceratinae Neumayr 1875.