[MARMAM] New publication - Collareta et al 2021 Thatchtelithichnus and Eschrichtius

Tsai, CH craniata at gmail.com
Fri Oct 8 18:02:04 PDT 2021

Dear colleagues

We are pleased to announce a new paper reporting the occurrence of
*Thatchtelithichnus* (trace fossils) on a Pliocene grey whale mandible and
suggesting that barnacles are possible tracemakers.

Collareat A., Tsai C.-H., Coletti G., and Bosselaers M. 2021
*Thatchtelithichnus* on a Pliocene grey whale mandible and barnacles as
possible tracemakers. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie -
Abhandlungen 302: 53-61.


The ichnogenus *Thatchtelithichnus* Zonneveld, Bartels, Gunnell & McHugh
was created for ring-shaped, roughly circular grooves affecting the outer
surface of plastral bones of Eocene geoemydid turtles. Such traces were
assumed to be attachment scars of aquatic ectoparasites (possibly ticks,
leeches or liver flukes). Despite its well-distinctive aspect,
*Thatchtelithichnus* has only been reported subsequently by few works and
mostly from the plastron-bottom of freshwater turtles. Here we provide the
first record of *Thatchtelithichnus* from a fossil mammal bone, namely, a
partial grey whale mandible from the Belgian Pliocene. *Thatchtelithichnus*
traces from this cetacean fossil commonly penetrate into the outermost
portion of the cancellous bone, achieving a maximum depth of about 2 mm.
The external margin of these grooves is sharply defined and commonly
follows an elliptical, somewhat festooned path. A scrutiny of recent
literature in palaeontological and forensic taphonomy as well as new
first-hand observations reveal that *Thatchtelithichnus*-like structures
can be produced by the attachment of barnacles on the surface of mammal
bones that suffered long-lasting exposure on the seafloor. When encrusting
bare bones in marine settings, barnacles can thus produce a variety of
traces, including *Anellusichnus* Santos, Mayoral & Muñiz,
*Thatchtelithichnus* and, possibly, *Karethraichnus* *lakkos* Zonneveld,
Bartels, Gunnell & McHugh. The modes of trace formation are still largely
to be understood, but observations on how barnacles damage paint coatings
during growth might help us in envisaging how this kind of process works.

The paper is open-access and freely available here:


Alternatively, please feel free to email Alberto: alberto.collareta at unipi.it
or me: craniata at gmail.com or whaletsai at ntu.edu.tw

Regards and all the best,

蔡政修(Cheng-Hsiu Tsai  さい まさのぶ) PhD
Lab of evolution and diversity of fossil vertebrates(古脊椎動物演化及多樣性實驗室)
Department of Life Science & Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
National Taiwan University(台灣大學)
No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd., Taipei, 106-17, Taiwan(台灣 106-17 台北市羅斯福路 4 段
1 號)
Email: whaletsai at ntu.edu.tw; craniata at gmail.com
Tel: 886 - 2 - 3366 - 2448
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