Inquilinism of a baculite by a dynomenid crab from the Upper Cretaceous of South Dakota. (American Museum novitates, no. 3818)
American Museum of Natural History.
We describe a small crab inside the phragmocone of a heteromorph cephalopod Baculites sp. smooth from the Gammon Ferruginous Member (lower Campanian) of the Pierre Shale in Butte County, South Dakota. The crab Ferricorda kimberlyae (Bishop, 1987) is well preserved with its carapace and pereiopods parallel to and between two septa of the phragmocone. Because of its superb preservation, the specimen is unlikely to have been washed into the phragmocone. The crab probably retreated into the phragmocone chamber to avoid predation or to molt and was subsequently buried by an influx of rapid sedimentation. This is the first instance of inquilinism by a crab in a heteromorph ammonite. Despite the rarity of such fossils, the occurrence of crabs inside ammonite shells was probably not uncommon on sea floors during the Mesozoic. Morphological details of the specimen reveal that Ferricorda is a dynomenid crab.
16 pages : illustrations (some color), map ; 26 cm.
Ferricorda kimberlyae., Baculites., Commensalism., Ammonoidea., Decapoda (Crustacea), Fossil., Cephalopoda, Fossil., Butte County (S.D.), South Dakota., Pierre Shale.