Original paper

A parautochthonous shallow marine fauna from the Late Burdigalian (early Ottnangian) of Gurlarn (Lower Bavaria, SE Germany): Macrofaunal inventory and paleoecology

Schneider, Simon; Berning, Björn Bitner; Carriol, René-Pierre; Jäger, Manfred; Kriwet, Jürgen Kroh; Werner, Winfried


This paper describes and illustrates a diverse parautochthonous macrofauna from a single Upper Burdigalian (lower Ottnangian) horizon at Gurlarn in Lower Bavaria (SE Germany). In total, 80 different taxa are recorded in specific or open nomenclature; some 50 % of these taxa are bryozoans, followed by bivalves (16 taxa), cirripedes (7 taxa), echinoderms, corals (5 taxa each), brachiopods, fish (4 taxa each), serpulids, and gastropods (3 taxa each). The presence of additional organisms was documented by actualistic comparison based on indirect evidence such as drillholes, bite marks, and specialized growth forms of bryozoan colonies. Analysis of aut- and synecological indicators suggests that the fauna thrived in a near-shore shallow marine setting at a water depth of 5-20 m. Based on particular faunal elements and overall faunal composition we hypothesize that the environment is characterized by three distinct but interfingering habitats, i.e. (1) rocky slopes and boulders, (2) seagrass meadows, and (3) bryozoan meadows. Because similar, albeit less well-preserved, faunas occur at several localities along the northern coast of the early Ottnangian Molasse Sea, the parautochthonous assemblage from Gurlarn provides an excellent example for the structure of these typical biota.


burdigalianupper marine molasseecologyinvertebratesfish