Taphonomy and Paleobiology of annelids and ammonoids revealed by X-ray Microtomography
Publications of two former bachelor students were just published. Benjamin Gügel investigated an newly discovered slightly disarticulated specimen of an armored annelid - machaeridian - from the Eifelian of China for his thesis. He could demonstrate that the specimen could be assigned to Lepidocoleus and that it did not end up in this state due to bioturbation or currents, but probably was not entirely buried and fell apart. Julia Stilkerich investigated an early ammonoid specimen which showed abberant non-planispiral coiling. She could demonstrate that it encrusted by hederelloids - a peculiar group of runner-like epizoa potentially related with phoronids - at least in part during its living which resulted in the non-planispiral coiling. However, the encrustation did not cause the ammonoid great harm as it lived until adulthood despite several generations of encrusters.
Gügel B, De Baets K, Jerjen I, Schuetz P, Klug C. (2017). Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 62 (2): 237-247 doi: https://doi.org/10.4202/app.00346.2017
Stilkerich J, Smrecak TA, De Baets K. (2017) 3D-Analysis of a non-planispiral ammonoid from the Hunsrück Slate: natural or pathological variation? PeerJ 5:e3526 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3526
I am a paleobiologist into fossil cephalopods, parasites and movies. My main research focuses on macroevolution, particularly on the relative contributions of biotic interactions (e.g., parasitism) and abiotic factors (e.g., climate) in driving these large-scale patterns.