Abstract

Mass mortality surfaces and bioclastic lags in Turonian siliceous shales of the San Rafael and La Frontera formations in Colombia have yielded two species of decapod crustaceans, Opthalmoplax spinosus new species and Pinnotheres? species indeterminate, as well as one stomatopod. Sculda sp. All represent first records for the country. Remains of the swimming carcineretid crab, Opthalmoplax spinosus, in association with fish fragments and pelagic ammonites, cover mass mortality surfaces. The occurrence suggests that the high density living population of the crabs, exploiting abundant food resources in areas of topography-controlled upwelling, was periodically reduced catastrophically, perhaps by advection of toxic trace elements or by oxygen starvation. Two other taphofacies, characterized by current oriented appendage fragments and scattered skeletal elements represent normal accumulations of fossil material in the San Rafael and La Frontera formations.

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