An Integrated Study Of Echinoid Taphonomy: Predictions For The Fossil Record Of Four Echinoid Families. Open Access Deposited
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Date Modified: 03/26/2018
The nature of taphonomic overprint affecting the fossil records of the regular echinoid Families Cidaridae, Diadematidae, Toxopneustidae and Echinometridae is investigated using a synthesis of actualistic and literature-derived data. The actualistic portion of this study focuses on the following extant members of the four families: Eucidaris tribuloides, Diadema antillarum, Tripneustes ventricosus and Echinometra lucunter. Population censuses of these animals in tropical reef and near-reef environments demonstrate that the distribution of macro- and microscopic skeletal material does not reflect the distribution of the living fauna. Field experiments with freshly-killed carcasses of Eucidaris, Diadema and Echinometra indicate that loss of all organic tissue occurs within six days after death, reducing these echinoids to essentially bleached carcasses.
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