Kiss of death of a hunting fish: trace fossil Osculichnus labialis igen. et isp. nov. from late Eocene – early Oligocene prodelta sediments of theMezardere Formation, Thrace Basin, NWTurkey

Huriye Demircan, Alfred Uchman


The trace fossil Osculichnus labialis igen. et isp. nov. occurs as hypichnial pairs of uneven bilobate mounds in early Oligocene prodelta sediments of the Thrace Basin. Osculichnus is generally elliptical or crescentic in outline and has two lip-like lobes: a smaller and a larger one, which are separated by an undulate furrow. Herein, it is interpreted as a hunting trace (praedichnion) of a fish penetrating a surficial sand layer and into an underlying mud horizon. The fish hunted for small endobenthic bivalves and perhaps other invertebrates such as polychaetes. Penetration into surficial mud rather than sand resulted in poorly preserved variants of this trace fossil, whose median furrow is commonly not visible. The probability of fish trace makers is supported by experiments.


Osculichnus labialis; Ichnology; Ichnotaxonomy; New taxa; Praedichnia; Predation; Eocene; Oligocene; Thrace Basin; Turkey

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