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GEOREF RECORD

Variation in wingless insect trace fossils; insights from neoichnology and the Pennsylvanian of Massachusetts

Patrick R. Getty, Robert Sproule, David L. Wagner and Andrew M. Bush
Variation in wingless insect trace fossils; insights from neoichnology and the Pennsylvanian of Massachusetts
Palaios (April 2013) 28 (4): 243-258

Abstract

Trace fossils of basal, apterygote (wingless) insects from the Pennsylvanian-aged Rhode Island Formation of southeastern New England include the body imprint Tonganoxichnus buildexensis and the trackways Mitchellichnus cf. ferrydenensis, Siskemia elegans, Stiallia pilosa, and Stiaria intermedia. Trackways with double and triple medial impressions (S. elegans and M. ferrydenensis) are rare among trace fossils attributed to such insects. To determine how these unusual trackway morphologies were produced, and why they are so rare, experiments were conducted over a range of media ( = sedimentary substrates) with modern archaeognathans (jumping bristletails) and thysanurans (silverfish). Our experimental results suggest that archaeognathans produced the fossil body imprints, as well as trackways exhibiting opposite symmetry, but cannot rule out thysanurans for trackways exhibiting alternate symmetry. The results also show that a variety of appendages leave medial impressions. The rarity of fossil trackways with more than one medial impression results from the low mass of the animal and the delicate nature of the appendages making such structures, coupled with behavior (jumping and landing) and media properties (saturation and cohesiveness). The production of different numbers of medial impressions by a single archaeognathan species suggests that fossils should show similar variety, albeit in rare cases, and that the named ichnotaxa are likely derived from a single biological taxon. Finally, the experimental work provides new insights into the production and preservation in Stiallia and TONGANOXICHNU.


ISSN: 0883-1351
Serial Title: Palaios
Serial Volume: 28
Serial Issue: 4
Title: Variation in wingless insect trace fossils; insights from neoichnology and the Pennsylvanian of Massachusetts
Affiliation: University of Connecticut, Center for Integrative Geosciences, Storrs, CT, United States
Pages: 243-258
Published: 201304
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society for Sedimentary Geology, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 79
Accession Number: 2013-047942
Categories: Invertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table, geol. sketch map
N42°00'00" - N42°00'00", W71°19'60" - W71°19'60"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 201330
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