By Professor Jean-Claude Gall (auth.)
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Additional info for Ancient Sedimentary Environments and the Habitats of Living Organisms: Introduction to Palaeoecology
Succession of moult stages in a population of Hemicyprideis montosa, an ostracod from the Sannoisian of Cormeilles-en-Parisis. (Keen 1972) Fig. 1 S. Skull of Eusmilus bidentatus from the Oligocene of Quercy. The upper canines acted like daggers. The anterior of the jaw played the part of the scabbard. (Piveteau 1961) One can show that the arrangement of their teeth allowed them to stab their prey because of the powerful development of their neck muscles, but prevented them from pulverising the bones.
Perfectly circular holes, occurring in various shells, are made 39 Fossil Excrement Fig. 32. ) which perforate the shells before ingesting the soft parts (Fig. 32). One can see marks left by echinoid jaws or fish teeth on Jurassic belemnite guards. Bite marks from the teeth of carnivores have been described from many Tertiary and Quaternary mammals. 2. Fossil Excrement Invertebrate faecal pellets form a considerable part of the mobile sediments of the neritic zone. In ancient rocks, they appear as spherical or oval bodies with a diameter less than 5 mm.
In deeper, calmer water, much more fragile, branching forms are developed. From such observations, Lecompte recognised d bathymetric zonation in the Devonian reefs of the Ardennes. The Recent gastropod, Patella vuigata, also shows a variation in shape depending on the hydrodynamics of its environment. Where it is exposed to the action of the tides, the shell is conical and thick. It allows the animal to stick efficiently to the substrate and to retain water in its pallial cavity during periods of emersion.