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Insight into tube-building behaviour and palaeoecology of some agglutinating worms from the Upper Devonian of Nevada, USA

Zatoń, Michał; Bond, David P. G.


Michał Zatoń


Agglutinated worm tubes from the Upper Devonian of the Devils Gate section in Nevada, USA are reported for the first time, filling a major gap in their Palaeozoic fossil record. Two small (5 mm and 6.7 mm in length) tubes are composed entirely of tentaculitid shells, and one large tube (55 mm in length) is formed from particles including ostracode carapaces, echinoderm ossicles, tentaculitid shells and putative bryozoan fragments aligned perpendicularly to the tube’s long axis. The tubes, in particular the large one have a cylindrical, curved and tapering tube morphology that is very similar to that of modern agglutinating polychaetes of the families Terebellidae and Pectinariidae. The large tube is dominated by objects that fall within a certain size-range, and although built from different types of particles, echinoderm ossicles are prevalent in the posterior part, whereas ostracode carapaces dominate in the middle and anterior parts of the tube. Tentaculitid shells are relatively rare in the large tube, despite being abundant in the surrounding host deposit. The faunal assemblage composing the tube suggests that the worm animal was rather specific in its selection of particles with a certain morphology. This is common behaviour amongst many modern agglutinating terebellid and pectinariid polychaetes. The preservation of such fragile tubes was enhanced by rapid burial, likely caused by gravity flow of sediment in a deep-slope setting.


Zatoń, M., & Bond, D. P. G. (2016). Insight into tube-building behaviour and palaeoecology of some agglutinating worms from the Upper Devonian of Nevada, USA. Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology, 445, 138-146.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 17, 2015
Online Publication Date Dec 24, 2015
Publication Date Mar 1, 2016
Deposit Date Dec 23, 2015
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology
Print ISSN 0031-0182
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 445
Pages 138-146
Keywords Polychaetes; Worm tubes; Particle selection; Taphonomy; Frasnian
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Authors' accepted manuscript of article published in: Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology, 2016, v.445.


Article.pdf (617 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2017. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license

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