Patterns of occurrence and distribution of crustacean ichnofossils in the Lower Jurassic–Upper Cretaceous of Atlantic occidental margin basins, Portugal

Carlos Neto De Carvalho, Nuno P.C. Rodrigues, Pedro A. Viegas, Andrea Baucon, Vanda F. Santos


Crustacean ichnofossils are most abundant in the stratigraphic record of Portugal. In this paper is presented a study on crustacean ichnoassemblages from the Sinemurian to middle Cenomanian, during the opening and subsequent filling of Atlantic occidental margin basins (Lusitanian Basin and western part of Algarve Basin). Thalassinoides dominates the lagoonal and inner shelf facies from the late Sinemurian at least to the Turonian, generally defining all of the carbonate sequence with its dense, “nodular” ichnofabric since the Late Jurassic. Asequence is described in the lower Barremian of Cabo Espichel in which burrow mazes of Thalassinoides suevicus occur, containing hundreds of Mecochirus rapax as an obrution lagerstatte. The Cretaceous of the Lusitanian Basin is rich in marly limestones mottled with Thalassinoides but almost devoid of Rhizocorallium. Fairly common in dark marls and biomicrites from the Jurassic, Rhizocorallium irregulare locally occurs in dense monospecific fabrics. Slipper-shaped and oblique forms (Rhizocorallium jenense) as well as spiral and lobate forms are rhizocoralliid foraging modifications usually developed in deeper tiers than Thalassinoides and sometimes evidencing bioimprints in Glossifungites preservation. Siliciclastic facies related to rifting subsidence along major fault scarps and fan deltas/braided river depositional systems show pervasive bioturbation with Psilonichnus tubiformis.Another crab-style behaviour ascribed to Macanopsis plataniformis is described for the first time in Portugal, associated with a coarse-grained sandstone episode in a tidal flat setting from the Kimmeridgian, where monospecific brachyuran burrows were developed in a firmground.


Crustacean burrows; Stratigraphic distribution; Palaeoenvironments; Sinemurian- Cenomanian; Portugal

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