A shelly bonanza from the Pleistocene of Sicily
NOTO, SICILY, ITALY–Our second stop of the day on this International Bryozoology Association field trip was in an unimpressive ditch (above) near Megara. But, of course, there is paleontological gold here: an assemblage of extremely well-preserved marine fossils.
Colleague Andrej Ernst is examining a layer of shells extending the length of the drainage ditch.
Her are some beautiful pectinid bivalves (scallops) with the treat for me: abundant serpulid worm tubes. There is an extensive sclerobiont (hard substrate dwelling) community on these shells.
Turritellid gastropods (snails) are extremely common in this assemblage. Note that several of these specimens have small holes drilled in them by predatory gastropods. We found naticid gastropods here too, which were probably the culprits.
This mother lode of fossils was guarded by a herd of horned beasts. This one had a bell on it, so I assumed it was the most dangerous and stayed far away. (Love this new zoom lens!)
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