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Conch structures, soft-tissue imprints and taphonomy of the Middle Ordovician cephalopod Tragoceras falcatum from Estonia


Pohle, Alexander; Klug, Christian; Toom, Ursula; Kröger, Björn (2019). Conch structures, soft-tissue imprints and taphonomy of the Middle Ordovician cephalopod Tragoceras falcatum from Estonia. Fossil Imprint, 75(1):70-78.

Abstract

Tragoceras falcatum (Schlotheim, 1820) is a common, loosely coiled estonioceratid (Tarphycerida, Cephalopoda)
occurring in the Kunda Regional Stage (early Darriwilian, Middle Ordovician) of Estonia. Although the species is quite wellknown, we document some features for the first time. For example, one specimen from the Harku quarry (Estonia) with a phosphatized replacement shell exhibits growth halts (megastriae) on the body chamber. As they are not preserved in smaller specimens, we suggest that these megastriae formed at the approach of maturity, possibly also reflecting sexual dimorphism and cycles of reproduction (iteroparity?). Additionally, the specimen shows minute soft-tissue imprints (drag bands and pseudosutures). These imprints are comparable to patterns in other cephalopods such as ammonoids, bactritids and other nautiloids, but have not yet been reported from Palaeozoic nautiloids. However, they might have been misinterpreted as oncomyarian muscle attachment scars previously. Lastly, we discuss the taphonomy of the specimen, which was encrusted by multiple bryozoan colonies post-mortem. Furthermore, it shows questionable traces of bioerosion.
Key words: Tarphycerida, Estonioceratidae, Darriwilian, megastriae, bryozoa, Baltoscandia

Abstract

Tragoceras falcatum (Schlotheim, 1820) is a common, loosely coiled estonioceratid (Tarphycerida, Cephalopoda)
occurring in the Kunda Regional Stage (early Darriwilian, Middle Ordovician) of Estonia. Although the species is quite wellknown, we document some features for the first time. For example, one specimen from the Harku quarry (Estonia) with a phosphatized replacement shell exhibits growth halts (megastriae) on the body chamber. As they are not preserved in smaller specimens, we suggest that these megastriae formed at the approach of maturity, possibly also reflecting sexual dimorphism and cycles of reproduction (iteroparity?). Additionally, the specimen shows minute soft-tissue imprints (drag bands and pseudosutures). These imprints are comparable to patterns in other cephalopods such as ammonoids, bactritids and other nautiloids, but have not yet been reported from Palaeozoic nautiloids. However, they might have been misinterpreted as oncomyarian muscle attachment scars previously. Lastly, we discuss the taphonomy of the specimen, which was encrusted by multiple bryozoan colonies post-mortem. Furthermore, it shows questionable traces of bioerosion.
Key words: Tarphycerida, Estonioceratidae, Darriwilian, megastriae, bryozoa, Baltoscandia

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Paleontological Institute and Museum
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Physical Sciences > Geology
Physical Sciences > Stratigraphy
Physical Sciences > Paleontology
Language:English
Date:13 May 2019
Deposited On:11 Sep 2019 14:28
Last Modified:22 Jun 2020 11:13
Publisher:Narodni Muzeum
ISSN:2533-4050
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.2478/if-2019-0006

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