Taphonomic studies are scarce for all fossil foraminifera, especially for fusulinids, which have been studied rarely, due to their traditional use primarily for biostratigraphy. The analysis of 900 well-preserved fusulinids, notably Triticites ventricosus, indicates both biostratinomy and diagenesis of the assemblage in the Hughes Creek Shale Member of the Foraker Limestone (Pennsylvanian, Virgilian) in east-central Kansas. The excellent preservation of these specimens provides valuable insight into the taphonomic process.
The biostratinomy has involved both encrustation and corrasion. The encrusting foraminifer Tolypammina is pervasive, with 63 percent of the fusulinids having at least one encrusting foraminifer. Corrasion is not as common: only 23 percent of the specimens have significant corrasion. Diagenesis of the fusulinids occurred during compaction of the shale and is manifest as compression that has resulted in pressure solution and flattening. Pressure solution formed pits on 47 percent of the specimens, and another 3 percent have other fusulinids or fossil fragments embedded into them. Flattened or cracked specimens were not abundant, with only 8 percent of the fusulinids having such features.