Friday, May 1, 2009

Trace fossil of the second II: Brutalichnus brutalis Mikuláš et. al 2006

Today I picked this one because of its adorable name. Brutalichnus has been erected by Mikuláš et. al 2006 with a bunch of other neat traces like Nihilichnus and Machichnus from bone material found in Miocene Sediments near Chomutov (Czech Republic). All of these structures represent biting and gnawing traces on bones. Brutalichnus brutalis is interpreted by the authors as breakage due to bites of animals in order to feed on cancellous bones which are rich in organic material. Evidence for this hypothesis is provided by small radial patterns at the points where the bone is broken. It proves that the bones did not simply collapse as a result of compaction.
Fig. 1: Brutalichnus brutalis on a mandible (Mikuláš et al. 2007).

Fig. 2: The suggested trace maker action being responsible for the observed morphology (Mikuláš et al. 2007)

Mikuláš R., Kadlecová E., Fejfar O., Dvořák Z. (2007): Three New Ichnogenera of Biting and Gnawing Traces on Reptilian and Mammalian Bones: A Case Study from the Miocene of the Czech Republic. Ichnos, 13, p. 113–127. link

To close this post you may enjoy the audio version of Brutalichnus brutalis: Converge's Fault and Fracture.

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