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Article: Meniscate trace fossils and the Muensteria–Taenidium problem

Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 30
Part: 4
Publication Date: December 1987
Page(s): 743 763
Author(s): Assunta D'Alessandro and Richard G. Bromley
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How to Cite

D'ALESSANDRO, A., BROMLEY, R. G. 1987. Meniscate trace fossils and the MuensteriaTaenidium problem. Palaeontology30, 4, 743–763.

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The systematics of meniscate trace fossils are in need of revision. Most authors follow Seilacher and call unbranched, unlined meniscate burrow fills Muensteria. However, Sternberg's original description of Muensteria is highly confused, involving true algae, a coprolite, and forms of Chondrites, and the name cannot be considered available for trace fossils. Re-examination of the original description of Taenidium Heer has revealed that the earliest ichnospecies erected, T. serpentinum, corresponds closely to the forms called Muensteria in the more recent literature. Subsequent ichnospecies placed in Taenidium include septate branched forms that require a new name. It is these branched meniscate burrows that commonly have been referred to Taenidium. We designate the branched forms Cladichnus ichnogen. nov. on the basis of T.fischeri Heer. T. satanassi ichnosp. nov. is described from the lower Tertiary of Italy. Other ichnogenera of meniscate trace fossils are briefly discussed, including Nereites, Keckia, Scolicia, Psammichnites, Scoyenia, Beaconites, Phoebichnus, and Ancorichnus.
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