Cryptobiotic foraminifera are described from Paleocene shallow-water limestones of the Kambühel Formation (“Kambühelkalk”) of the south-eastern part of the Northern Calcareous Alps/Austria. They have been discovered within cavities occurring in the nodular thalli of the “solenoporacean” alga Parachaetetes asvapatii Pia, 1936. The foraminifera of uncertain generic status show an irregular planspiral coiling and thin walls. It is assumed that these forms were actively boring, not colonizing an excavation made by another organism. Whether these borings were excavated during the life-time of the alga or post-mortem, however, is uncertain. The micritic Parachaetetes bafflestones containing the described foraminifera were deposited in an environment of low energy, hence, protection against natural enemies and not against abrasive water-energy was the probable reason for their cryptobiotic way of life. Moreover, due to high diversity of encrusting taxa (foraminifera, red algae) the cavitydwelling mode of life occupied a vacant and non-competitive ecological niche. Parachaetetes thalli from reefal facies are devoid of these cryptobiotic foraminifera.
Cryptobiotic foraminifera from the Paleocene Kambühel formation (northern calcareous Alps, Austria),
Studia UBB Geologia
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