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The origin of Chubutolithes Ihering, ichnofossils from the Eocene and Oligocene of Chubut Province, Argentina.

Journal of Paleontology

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Abstract

The distinctive trace fossil Chubutolithes gaimanensis n. ichnosp. occurs in Casamayoran (early Eocene) and Colhuehaupian (late Oligocene) alluvial rocks of the Sarmiento Formation in eastern Chubut Province, Argentina. Though known for nearly 70 years, its origin has remained obscure. Examination of new specimens and comparisons with modern analogs demonstrate that specimens of Chubutolithes represent the fossil nests of a mud-dauber (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae). Virtually identical nests are constructed today by mud-daubers in areas as disparate as southern Santa Cruz Province, Argentina, and Nebraska, confirming that quite similar trace fossils can be produced by several different taxa in a higher taxonomic clade. No satisfactory ethological term exists for trace fossils that, like Chubutolithes, were constructed by organisms above, rather than within, a substrate or medium. The new term aedificichnia is proposed. Chubutolithes occurs in alluvial paleosols and is associated with a large terrestrial ichnofauna. These trace fossils include the nests of scarab beetles, compound nests of social insects, and burrows of earthworms. -Authors

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
The origin of Chubutolithes Ihering, ichnofossils from the Eocene and Oligocene of Chubut Province, Argentina.
Series title:
Journal of Paleontology
Volume
62
Issue:
2
Year Published:
1988
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Paleontology
First page:
163
Last page:
167