lungfish burrow in Late Cretaceous Upper Capping Sandstone
Member of the Wahweap Formation Cockscomb Area, Grand
Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah
Edward L., Wolf,
Hannah L., Simpson, Wendy S., Tindall, Sarah S.,
Jonathan, and Jenesky, Timothy, 2007, A
lungfish burrow in Late Cretaceous Upper Capping Sandstone Member
of the Wahweap Formation Cockscomb Area, Grand Staircase-Escalante
National Monument, Utah [abs]: Rocky Mountain Section - 59th
Annual Meeting (7–9 May 2007), Geological Society of America
Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 39, No. 5, p. 43.
Possible lungfish burrows have been reported
from Triassic and Jurassic strata of the Colorado Plateau.
Assignment of these burrows to the suspected burrow maker, a
lungfish, has been problematic in these strata. Here we report on a
probable lungfish burrow from the Late Cretaceous capping sandstone
member of the Wahweap Formation in Grand Staircase-Escalante
National Monument, Utah.
The burrow is composed of a vertical shaft with a widened bulb at
the bottom. The apparent opening is 50 cm across with a neck
diameter of 6 cm. The depth of the burrow is 31 cm with a bulb width
of 11 cm. In lateral view the bulb displays an indentation
approximately in the center. The infill shows apparent collapse into
the burrow. These burrow measurements fall in the range of average
modern lungfish - approximately 30 to 35 cm in depth, with a width
of about 5 to 10 cm, and the bulbous bottom measuring roughly 17 cm.
Modern lungfish burrow dimensions such as depths and diameters do
vary depending on species, substrate and other environmental
conditions, but aestivation burrows of lungfish usually attain
lengths of 40 to 50 cm and widths of 5 to 15 cm. The indentation in
the bulb is interpreted as a mark left by the turning lungfish. The
sedimentologic setting is also consistent with a periodic wet – dry
climate typical of lungfish.