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A trilobite cluster from the Silurian Rochester Shale of New York : predation patterns and possible defensive behavior. (American Museum novitates, no. 3937)

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dc.contributor.author Bicknell, Russell D. C.
dc.contributor.author Paterson, John R.
dc.contributor.author Hopkins, Melanie J.
dc.date.accessioned 2019-09-05T18:20:50Z
dc.date.available 2019-09-05T18:20:50Z
dc.date.issued 2019-09-09
dc.identifier.uri http://digitallibrary.amnh.org/handle/2246/6959
dc.description 16 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 26 cm. en_US
dc.description.abstract Evidence of predator-prey interactions in the fossil record offers important insights into extinct ecosystems. As direct predator-prey relationships are rarely preserved, records of failed predation upon prey species are often considered. The biomineralized exoskeleton of trilobites is exemplary for recording injuries that have resulted from predation. Despite the extensive documentation of trilobite injuries, abnormal specimens are often documented in isolation, with examples of injuries among clustered individuals being poorly known. Here we document a well-preserved body cluster of 18 individuals of the large lichid trilobite Arctinurus boltoni from the mid-Silurian (Wenlock) Rochester Shale of New York, with eight specimens showing injuries. Landmark geometric morphometrics of the specimens is used to explore possible patterns between injured and noninjured specimens. Results of the morphometric analysis indicate that injured and noninjured specimens do not show any systematic difference in overall shape of the exoskeleton, but many of the larger specimens have injuries. The majority of injuries are posteriorly located and right-side dominant, highlighting the possibility of predator or prey lateralization. Biostratinomic evidence suggests that the cluster represents a biological aggregation that was rapidly buried in situ. Potential reasons for this gregarious behavior are discussed, including the possibility that individuals of A. boltoni grouped together to provide "safety in numbers" against predatory attack. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher American Museum of Natural History. en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries American Museum novitates;no.3937.
dc.relation.uri https://doi.org/10.5531/sd.sp.35
dc.subject Arctinurus boltoni -- Wounds and injuries. en_US
dc.subject Arctinurus boltoni -- Effect of predation on. en_US
dc.subject Arctinurus boltoni -- Defenses. en_US
dc.subject Trilobites. en_US
dc.subject Predation (Biology) en_US
dc.subject Paleoecology -- Silurian. en_US
dc.subject Cluster analysis. en_US
dc.subject Orleans County (N.Y.) en_US
dc.subject New York (State) en_US
dc.title A trilobite cluster from the Silurian Rochester Shale of New York : predation patterns and possible defensive behavior. (American Museum novitates, no. 3937) en_US
dc.title.alternative Trilobite cluster from Silurian Rochester Shale. en_US


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  • American Museum Novitates
    Novitates (Latin for "new acquaintances"), published continuously and numbered consecutively since 1921, are short papers that contain descriptions of new forms and reports in zoology, paleontology, and geology. New numbers are published at irregular intervals.

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