ABSTRACT

Plio?-Pleistocene outcrops located at the southwestern edge of the Guadalquivir Basin in the area of Lepe (Huelva, Spain) provide an interesting example for studying the contemporaneity of traces with the rocks that contain them. Two different types of cells compatible with the ichnogenera Celliforma (Type 1) and Palmiraichnus (Type 2) were found in these outcrops. Their walls were constructed with the same material as the matrix and our first research in the area showed no extant bees producing them suggesting that they were coeval with the trace-bearing rocks. The case of the “Palmiraichnus-like” Type 2 cells was misleading because of its similarity with Palmiraichnus described from the region in the Canary Islands and Balearic Archipelago (Spain). Two determining features were vital in clarifying this first appearance. In the Palmiraichnus-like cells we found remains of a larval cocoon in one cell that could be dated by C14, giving a modern age. In the Celliforma-like cells more field research in the area allow us to observe extant bees nesting in these rocks in autumn. Ichnological literature show a few cases of asynchronies involving extant traces found mostly in Paleozoic and Mesozoic rocks. In contrast, the case presented herein indicates the time gap between the bearing rocks and the Lepe traces was shorter (ca. 12 ky–2.6 My), enhancing the similarity of traces and rocks and thus their potential coevalness. This case may serve as a warning about other potential examples in the fossil record in which relatively short asynchronies between traces and paleosols exist.

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