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Article: Comparative analysis of fossil and recent echinoid bioerosion

Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 18
Part: 4
Publication Date: November 1975
Page(s): 725 739
Author(s): R. G. Bromley
Addition Information

How to Cite

BROMLEY, R. G. 1975. Comparative analysis of fossil and recent echinoid bioerosion. Palaeontology18, 4, 725–739.

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The Palaeontological Association (Free Access)


One of the most abundant forms of bioerosion sculpture on Mesozoic and Cainozoic shells and other hard substrates has a pentaradiate symmetry based on a regular, stellate module consisting of five radiating grooves. Regular echinoids today, browsing on encrusting and boring organisms on hard substrates, produce identical sculpture to the trace fossil, and a common origin is suggested. The tooth scratches lose their pentaradiate orientation and become subparallel where the echinoid gnaws along edges of shells and flat pebbles; a corresponding sculpture is also encountered in the trace fossil. The pentaradiate trace fossil is designated as Gnathichnus pentax, ichnogen. et ichnosp. nov.
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