In his recent article, Dattilo (2004) suggested that strophomenide brachiopods, in particular the plectambonitoid Sowerbyella, were capable of active locomotion, and even burrowing. The article argues that Sowerbyella was capable of living quasi-infaunally and upright, with the shell edgewise—a position that could be obtained by burrowing.

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As Dattilo summarizes, the consensus view (Rudwick, 1970; Richards, 1972; Alexander, 1975; Alexander and Scharpf, 1990; Leighton and Savarese, 1996; Leighton, 1998) of strophomenide life-position is that relatively immobile strophomenides lived convex-valve down. Dattilo notes that the primary argument of these studies was based on functional...

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