The heteromorph ammonite Pravitoceras sigmoidale from the Upper Cretaceous Seidan Formation (Izumi Group) in south-west Japan is frequently encrusted by sessile anomiid bivalves. Fossils of P. sigmoidale with anomiids are often concentrated at the top of or just above turbidite sandstones. Projecting retroversal hooks and apertures of P. sigmoidale are usually intact, and some individuals are associated with jaw apparatuses near apertures. Anomiids are found on both sides and ventral peripheries of P. sigmoidale conchs, attached predominantly to body chambers. These modes of occurrence suggest that the encrustation by anomiids occurred not on post-mortem floating or sunken carcasses but on live conchs and that these organisms were rapidly buried by turbidity current deposits shortly after death. Attachment to both flanks and ventral peripheries of the retroversal hooks may indicate that at least adult individuals of P. sigmoidale did not lie on the sea floor and did not drag their body chambers. It is suggested that fully mature individuals of this ammonite species lived for a long period of time after having formed the retroversal hook because a few generations of anomiids have colonized a single body chamber. Such colonization by anomiids is also observed on Didymoceras awajiense, which is considered to be the closely related ancestral species of P. sigmoidale. This anomiid-heteromorph ammonite commensal relationship might continue to persist in descendants during the course of evolution of these heteromorph ammonites.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics