Tiered burrows of alpheid shrimps and their eco-taphonomic significance in the Oxfordian and Kimmeridgian of the Holy Cross Mountains



To the activity of alpheid shrimps genus Alpheus Weber, 1795) ascribed are the tiered burrows of a gridlike appearance from Lower Kimmeridgian oolitic shoals and Middle Oxfordian nearshore micritic limestones of the Holy Cross Mountains, Central Poland. The burrow networks are confined to beds of the soft or hard bottom type, the upper parts of which are more or less deeply truncated, to indicate erosional events of storm agitation. At low stand, the open burrows served as traps for solutions derived from the nearby hypersaline lagoons of the sabkha type, to cause precipitation either of dolomite, or of silica gel.At high stand, the open burrows, exemplified by the Małogoszcz section (Lower Kimmeridgian), became taphonomic traps and/or crevice habitats for diverse biota, the echinoderms in particular, to form their graveyards (Echinodermenlagerstätten). In these, represented are echinoids (tests, some spine-coated, all either empty, or sediment-filled; broken tests and their fragments, spines) stalkless crinoids (cusps, centrodorsals, radials, brachials, cirrals), stalked crinoids (columnals, pluricolumnals), starfish (marginalia, ambulacral plates), and ophiuroids (vertebrae, arm plates). Eco-taphonomic pathways for particular echinoderms (21 taxa taxonomically recognised) are interpreted since their death to burial in open burrows. Spine-coated echinoids were entrapped alive, others were swept into during successive storms which acted as a lethal agent. The storms, catastrophic for echinoderm communities, have prevailed through a longer timespan, when the alpheid-burrowed shoal evolved from the soft bottom to the hard ground colonized by a successive echinoderm community dominated by stalked crinoids.


Alpheid burrows; Echinoderms; sedimentary and taphonomic traps; storm agitation; Oxfordian; Bałtów; Kimmeridgian; Małogoszcz

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