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Bivalves on mecochirid lobsters from the Aptian of the Isle of Wight: Snapshot on an Early Cretaceous palaeosymbiosis

Bivalves on mecochirid lobsters from the Aptian of the Isle of Wight: Snapshot on an Early Cretaceous palaeosymbiosis
Bivalves on mecochirid lobsters from the Aptian of the Isle of Wight: Snapshot on an Early Cretaceous palaeosymbiosis
Fossil symbioses (Bary 1879) that are not recognized in modern assemblages are rare. This holds true especially because fossil remains of interspecific association are sporadic and difficult to document. Thus, fossil associations illustrated on a large number of specimens are of particular interest. Numerous specimens of mecochirid lobsters (Glypheidea, Decapoda, Crustacea) from the Lower Cretaceous of the Atherfield Clay Formation (Isle of Wight, UK) seer small epibiotic bivalves on their exoskeleton. We propose to identify the post-mortem or syn-vivo nature of this association. To this end, we test and revise the systematic assignment of both crustacean and molluscan partners. A new genus name is proposed for the crustacean Meyeria magna M'Coy, 1849, as well as the new combination Atherfieldastacus magnus (M'Coy, 1849). To understand the nature of the association, a qualitative and quantitative study of the association is conducted on newly examined material (161 lobsters) looking at prevalence, density and abundance of the infestation (per anatomical region of the lobsters). Angularities and flat surface of exoskeletons were also evaluated. The distribution of the bivalves on both sides of the crustaceans (60% of the colonized lobsters), their preservation and their downward growth orientation suggests no post-mortem attachment of the mollusks. Hence, the association may be ascribed to a true palaeosymbiosis between these organisms. The non-homogeneous distribution of bivalves, that is to say an important colonization of the angular ridges of the carapace, is interpreted as selected sites by the mollusks for larval fixation, and may indicate possible half-burrowing posture of lobsters. This palaeosymbiosis has no modern equivalent, as cemented bivalve shells have never been reported on any population of decapod crustaceans. This fossil association may be ascribed to a local Aptian palaeoenvironment comprising swarming spats of anomiid bivalves.
Palaeosymbiosis, Fossil epibiosis, Anomiid bivalves, Mecochirid lobsters, Atherfield Clay, Lower Cretaceous
0031-0182
10-19
Robin, Ninon
7aef2dc5-85ec-40ea-b0f5-153a56c8a88d
Charbonnier, Sylvain
85ea02c5-32af-4d8a-bfdc-863cc2a3078d
Merle, Didier
3373d9cc-8a2d-436d-9a24-679b852af5fb
Simpson, Martin I.
eff79462-79d2-4a35-a603-3cd85029507d
Petit, Gilles
12064bdd-063a-42e9-897c-2d577b89d89a
Fernandez, Sophie
d6768001-f82d-4f4e-a0c3-318d6554b60b
Robin, Ninon
7aef2dc5-85ec-40ea-b0f5-153a56c8a88d
Charbonnier, Sylvain
85ea02c5-32af-4d8a-bfdc-863cc2a3078d
Merle, Didier
3373d9cc-8a2d-436d-9a24-679b852af5fb
Simpson, Martin I.
eff79462-79d2-4a35-a603-3cd85029507d
Petit, Gilles
12064bdd-063a-42e9-897c-2d577b89d89a
Fernandez, Sophie
d6768001-f82d-4f4e-a0c3-318d6554b60b

Robin, Ninon, Charbonnier, Sylvain, Merle, Didier, Simpson, Martin I., Petit, Gilles and Fernandez, Sophie (2016) Bivalves on mecochirid lobsters from the Aptian of the Isle of Wight: Snapshot on an Early Cretaceous palaeosymbiosis. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 453, 10-19. (doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.03.025).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Fossil symbioses (Bary 1879) that are not recognized in modern assemblages are rare. This holds true especially because fossil remains of interspecific association are sporadic and difficult to document. Thus, fossil associations illustrated on a large number of specimens are of particular interest. Numerous specimens of mecochirid lobsters (Glypheidea, Decapoda, Crustacea) from the Lower Cretaceous of the Atherfield Clay Formation (Isle of Wight, UK) seer small epibiotic bivalves on their exoskeleton. We propose to identify the post-mortem or syn-vivo nature of this association. To this end, we test and revise the systematic assignment of both crustacean and molluscan partners. A new genus name is proposed for the crustacean Meyeria magna M'Coy, 1849, as well as the new combination Atherfieldastacus magnus (M'Coy, 1849). To understand the nature of the association, a qualitative and quantitative study of the association is conducted on newly examined material (161 lobsters) looking at prevalence, density and abundance of the infestation (per anatomical region of the lobsters). Angularities and flat surface of exoskeletons were also evaluated. The distribution of the bivalves on both sides of the crustaceans (60% of the colonized lobsters), their preservation and their downward growth orientation suggests no post-mortem attachment of the mollusks. Hence, the association may be ascribed to a true palaeosymbiosis between these organisms. The non-homogeneous distribution of bivalves, that is to say an important colonization of the angular ridges of the carapace, is interpreted as selected sites by the mollusks for larval fixation, and may indicate possible half-burrowing posture of lobsters. This palaeosymbiosis has no modern equivalent, as cemented bivalve shells have never been reported on any population of decapod crustaceans. This fossil association may be ascribed to a local Aptian palaeoenvironment comprising swarming spats of anomiid bivalves.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 23 March 2016
Published date: 1 July 2016
Keywords: Palaeosymbiosis, Fossil epibiosis, Anomiid bivalves, Mecochirid lobsters, Atherfield Clay, Lower Cretaceous
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 397730
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/397730
ISSN: 0031-0182
PURE UUID: df398051-c928-42d8-b2a1-788b79d993ee

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Date deposited: 04 Jul 2016 12:52
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 15:36

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Contributors

Author: Ninon Robin
Author: Sylvain Charbonnier
Author: Didier Merle
Author: Martin I. Simpson
Author: Gilles Petit
Author: Sophie Fernandez

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