Original paper

Ichnotaxonomical rules applied to a Recent muroidean burrow produced in snow

Vallon, Lothar H.; Kjeldahl-Vallon, Tina A.


A muroidean burrow excavated in snow is described. Its mode of excavation as well as its function are discussed. In all probability the burrow has to be interpreted as an equilibrichnium. The above-surface burrow-extension in snow most likely conduces to a better ventilation within the permanent, subterraneous burrow part. Due to the morphological similarity of the described burrow with the ichnogenus Spongeliomorpha de Saporta, 1887 the ichnotaxonomical validity of the ichnogenus Alezichnos Gobetz, 2006 is discussed, which was erected for vertebrate burrows. The morphological characteristics of Alezichnos do not justify the erection of a new ichnogenus. Alezichnos has therefore to be regarded as a junior synonym of Spongeliomorpha.