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Abstract

Worm remains are known from Precambrian to Recent — most are soft-bodied, but preserved fossil forms include some segmented worms that built solid housing structures. These generally belong to the:

  • Phylum Annelida: Proterozoic-Recent

    • Class Polychaeta: (Proterozoic?) Cambrian-Recent

The most important sediment-producing or sediment-influencing groups in Phylum Annelida include three groups or families within the order Sabellida:

  • Serpulids and spirorbids (groups that precipitate solid calcareous tubes)

  • Sabellariids (producers of agglutinated tubes)

  • A variety of soft-bodied burrowers and pellet producers

Most preserved forms lived in fully marine to hypersaline-water settings; rare in freshwater and even rarer in terrestrial settings (although non-calcified forms can produce pellets in those environments).

Serpulids are most common in shallow to coastal waters (largely as hard-substrate encrusters) but extend into deeper shelf waters as well. Especially common in slightly hypersaline settings (where they may form small reef-like masses) or at hiatus surfaces.

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