A REVIEW OF THE POST-MORTEM DISPERSAL OF CEPHALOPOD SHELLS
Among invertebrates, the distribution of chambered cephalopods constitutes a special case owing to their potential for post-mortem dispersal. The earlier prevailing opinion of many, but far from all specialists, that shells accumulated at, or close to, their areas of living distribution, in the same manner as gastropods, has been supplanted by a wide acceptance, that nekroplanktonic dispersal is the rule rather than the exception. The basis for this swing is mainly ascribable to increased knowledge of the post-mortem dispersal of the shells of extant nautiloids and improved extrapolation of these results to palaeobiogeographical interpretations of ammonite distribution. A new element explored here is that of the significance of encrusters, such as oysters, as a tool for studying the taphonomy of nekroplanktonically spread ammonites.
KEY WORDS: nautiloids; ammonites; post-mortem dispersal; Indian Ocean; Pacific Ocean; encrusters
PE Article Number: 11.12A
Copyright: Palaeontological Association October 2008
Submission: 12 December 2007. Acceptance: 11 August 2008