Encrusting Parasitic Foraminifera on Fossilized Shells
Abstract: During the fall 2017 semester, I conducted research analyzing fossilized brachiopods and especially observing the encrusting parasitic life and worms (foraminifera and microconchids) found on the valves of fossilized brachiopods. My work has involved analyzing an assortment of ancient fossilized parasites that thrive on these organisms. I have documented and drawn observations for a total of twenty-eight Composita subtilita from the basal Missourian series of the Pennsylvanian period, collected at Mineral Wells Fossil Park. The various life forms I observed attached to these shells include remnants from a variety of calcareous epibionts, informally categorized as segmented tubes, flattened tubes, small and large inarticulate brachiopods, fat segmented flat tubes, flat twisted tubes, expanding curled tubes, threadlike tubes, and thin flat segmented tubes in addition to observing numerous incomplete segments that could not be assigned confidently to any of these groups. It is clear that these tubes thrived on Composita as part of a relatively biodiverse near-shore marine community, although the density of parasitic life on these shells varies from heavily populated to only one or two tubes, or even none, on some shells.
Judging Forms – Official judges only