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In 1871, a vessel laden with marble was sunk in Long Island Sound, and according to Professor Verni, the boring sponge has penetrated the exposed parts of the blocks for a depth of two or three inches from the surface.
J. A. Ryder (American Naturalist, 1879)


“Bioerosion”, a term coined by Conrad Neumann in 1966 as an abbreviation of “biologic erosion”, encompasses the processes of wasting of indurated rock by organisms. The term has been used to describe every form of biologic penetration into hard substrates (i.e., lithic, skeletal or woody) together with destruction of the substrate and creation of preservable trace fossils that arise from the process. An extremely wide array of organisms are and have been involved in bioerosion (e.g., see Bromley, 1970; Warme, 1970, 1975), and their work has progressed at all scales from the microscopic to the gigantic. The minute scar etched on a shell by a brachiopod's pedicle has great paleoecologic significance. On the other hand, the sapping of cliffs by innumerable bivalves and sponges brings about the isolation of islands from continents; according to natural historians in Britain, the boring bivalve Zirfaea crispata is said to have played a leading role in the separation of England from the European continent! Had the Great Armada sent against England by Philip II of Spain in 1588 not been annihilated by the activities of the shipworm (a wood-boring bivalve), with the help of the unbored English fleet, the language of this textbook probably would have been Spanish!

The product of bioerosion that usually concerns geologists most is the development of a characteristic sculpture of the substrate, producing a bioerosion fabric, which is more or less equivalent to bioturbation fabric of unlithified sediments. Within a bioerosion fabric the individual structures produced by a bioeroding

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