Signs of predation in the Middle Jurassic of south-central Poland: evidence from echinoderm taphonomy
Article first published online: 8 APR 2007
Volume 40, Issue 2, pages 139–151, June 2007
How to Cite
ZATOŃ, M., VILLIER, L. and SALAMON, M. A. (2007), Signs of predation in the Middle Jurassic of south-central Poland: evidence from echinoderm taphonomy. Lethaia, 40: 139–151. doi: 10.1111/j.1502-3931.2007.00017.x
- Issue published online: 8 APR 2007
- Article first published online: 8 APR 2007
- Received 15th March 2005, revised 14th November 2006.
Distinct faunal aggregates are described from the Middle Jurassic (uppermost Bajocian/lowermost Bathonian and Middle Bathonian) clay deposits of Częstochowa area, south-central Poland. These aggregates are composed of molluscs (scaphopods, gastropods, bivalves, ammonites and belemnites), articulate brachiopods and echinoderms (asteroids, crinoids and echinoids). A large percentage of the fossils, especially bivalves, are fragmented, but some fossils are complete. Although most of the fossils are crushed and fragmented, they are still identifiable to at least the genus level. Thorough statistical analysis of taphonomic features indicates that the preservation of asteroid marginal plates is distinct from the ossicles derived from the host clays. The high frequency of bite marks and the good state of preservation suggest that the accumulations are the products of predation activities and most probably are the effect of regurgitation. Taking into account the rich and diverse fauna, the predator was a bottom-feeding generalist. Possible predators include palaeospinacid sharks, a tooth of which was collected from the same bedding surface, but not associated with regurgitated remains. Although the bite marks on the asteroid ossicles point to sharks as potential producers of regurgitates, other vertebrates, like durophagous pycnodontiform fish, cannot be excluded.