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[Annelida] An explanation of Treptichnus trace fossils?

Geoff Read via annelida%40net.bio.net (by g.read from niwa.co.nz)
Sat Jul 31 02:05:38 EST 2010


It is said that treptichnid trace fossils  "are characterized by
subhorizontal segmented burrow systems exemplified by Treptichnus pedum
that is internationally recognized as the marker of the
Precambrian-Cambrian boundary."

And the suggestion is that the makers were ancestral priapulids:

Vannier, J.; Calandra, I.; Gaillard, C. ; Żylińska, A. 2010:  Priapulid
worms: Pioneer horizontal burrowers at the Precambrian-Cambrian
boundary.  Geology 38(8): 711-714.


But the match is not perfect: "Major differences between the Cambrian
and the present-day seafloor may also explain the differences between
treptichnids and Recent priapulid burrows."  And: "present-day priapulid
worms such as Priapulus, by contrast with the Cambrian treptichnid
makers, do not generally produce well-defined subhorizontal burrow

Maybe some would put a question mark in the title then?  The striking
right-angle direction changes shown in the Treptichnus rectangularis
trace fossil seem especially a puzzle.


NIWA is the trading name of the National Institute of Water &
Atmospheric Research Ltd.

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