Abstract

A survey of the large number of scallops from the Plio-Pleistocene shell beds of Florida held in the collections of the Florida Museum of Natural History has revealed that a proportion have been penetrated by drillholes of the ichnospecies Oichnus ovalis, which may be attributed to predatory octopods. Only large individuals had been drilled. Drillhole positioning was highly stereotyped, most being located on the ‘upper’ left valve, between ribs and directly into the adductor myostracum. Such stereotypy indicates that the octopods concerned were highly accustomed to taking scallop prey and also that the complex predatory behavior seen in modern octopods was already in place by the Pliocene. Such stereotypic patterns suggest that scallops from these localities were frequently the victims of octopod attack.

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