Abstract

This study is a preliminary assessment of an extremely diverse Tortonian (late Miocene) mollusk assemblage from a coral carpet environment preserved at Bontang (East Kalimantan, Indonesia). Even though coral-associated aragonitic faunas are rarely well preserved, the composition of the assemblage described here can be used to address the following questions: (1) How do the mollusk assemblages in coral habitats differ from other habitats, and (2) What is the effect of sampling on estimates of taxon richness? The mollusk assemblage is dominated by predatory snails and includes typical modern coral-associated taxa such as the gastropod Coralliophila and the bivalve Tridacna. Our investigation implies that adequate documentation of Cenozoic mollusk diversity in the Indo-Pacific is even more challenging than previously expected as very large samples are required to capture species richness. Further assessments of fossil faunas from coral-dominated habitats will be required to provide insight to development of Indo-Pacific biodiversity through time.

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