Abstract

An important aspect of ostracode preservation includes burial and resistance to crushing. In this study, ostracode valves from six modern species were subjected to force using a miniature electronic load cell. Variables commonly considered to influence strength and investigated here are shell size (length, width, height), shape, valve thickness, and ornamentation. Area, width, shell shape, and ornamentation showed the greatest correlation with resistance to crushing. A stepwise regression process used these variables (and thickness), along with their squares and crossed terms, as independent variables to formulate a system of equations to predict crushing resistance. Width, thickness, and shell shape are significant predictors for all species considered. Ornamentation is not significant in the stepwise analysis. The results are reasonable in an engineering context, particularly in regard to width and thickness. This work is important because it potentially allows investigators to apply such equations to an assemblage of ostracodes to determine their resistance to crushing and infer the degree to which the assemblage may have been altered by this taphonomic process.

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