Posts In

December 2018

Dive into the unknown

Below the seafloor surface lies a vast, complex ecosystem, one of the Earth’s lesser-known environments. Here, marine animals produce complex burrow systems: What is the function of these structures? What is their distrubution? How did they evolve during the last 600 million years? I am…

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Quadrat + mounded burrow = quantitative ichnology

Today I continued conducting quadrat sampling in the amazing Ligurian Sea. This series of photos shows a quadrat sampling session - from snorkelling to spotting a burrow with a mound! Each and every quadrat-based observation is georeferenced by GPS, so that in the laboratory I…

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Traces of the day: Siphonichnus and Teichichnus

Today I photographed paired openings on the seafloor. These openings have been produced by burrowing bivalves (clams) to keep contact with the oxygenated seawater. The fossil burrows Siphonichnus and Teichichnus are possible analogues of this burrow system, spotted on the sandy seafloor of the Ligurian…

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Trace of the day: Thalassinoides

On some seafloors of the Ligurian Sea, sediment mounds tower smaller openings. Each mound is likely to be connected with the nearby openings, forming a tunnel system that resembles the fossil burrow Thalassinoides. Thalassinoides is a genus of fossil burrow consisting of horizontal branched tunnels…

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From the backshore to the shoreface

A major part of my on-going research focuses on burrows and trails. However, the geological (sedimentological) context cannot be ignored when studying the products of organism-substrate interactions. In fact, sediment texture commonly reflects the hydrodynamic setting. In the images of this post, you can see…

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