Distinctive trace fossils, indicating the infestation of the monobathrid camerate crinoid Neoplatycrinus Wanner by coprophagous platyceratid gastropods, are recognised for the first time from the Permian of West Timor. Platyceratid shells from West Timor have previously been reported preserved on or about the crinoid tegmen, that is, apically; in contrast, the trace fossils described herein occur in the CD interray (=posteriorly), mainly on the radials. There are two patterns of infestation in the CD interray. Circular grooves in this position, situated below the periproct, are referred to Lacrimichnus isp. Thecal modifications include the CD interray sloping towards the base, and incomplete curved ridges developed outside the circular groove and confined to the radials. A different morphology is shown by other specimens that have a broad, flattened CD interray, curving down to and extending onto the basals; this interray also slopes towards the base. These unusual CD interray modifications are interpreted as a product of snail/crinoid associations. We speculate that the major modifications to the theca may have permitted the platyceratid shell to mimic an uninfested CD interray and thus maintain the hydrodynamic integrity of the crown. This would have been to the advantage of both gastropod and crinoid. The camerates did not survive the P/Tr extinction; their demise ended an association that had persisted over 200 million years, although the platyceratids persisted into the Mesozoic.
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Before the extinction — Permian platyceratid gastropods attached to platycrinitid crinoids and an abnormal four-rayed Platycrinites s.s. wachsmuthi (Wanner) from West Timor
Before the extinction — Permian platyceratid gastropods attached to platycrinitid crinoids and an abnormal four-rayed Platycrinites s.s. wachsmuthi (Wanner) from West Timor