21 May 2020


Traces in Deep Time: Ichnological Discoveries in the Lower Delaware Valley Region


Dr. Ilya V. Buynevich, Temple University


Throughout the recent history of the Earth (half a billion years or so…), animals have left traces in sediments and changed parts of many landscapes. The presentation will cover recent discoveries in the lower Delaware Valley region that combine paleontological, sedimentological, and ichnological (trace fossil) approaches. The Late Triassic Lockatong Formation is famous for its lacustrine fossils, invertebrate traces, and tetrapod footprints. New research in Bucks County, Pennsylvania examines enigmatic traces on paleo-surfaces, which are interpreted as vertebrate swim marks.


The second part of the talk will focus on utilizing the trends in decapod burrows, which are associated with one of the world’s largest marine death assemblages linked to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. Recent findings at several New Jersey sites demonstrate the potential use of ichnofossils as in situ markers for the boundary placement and for correlation to other North American localities. Finally, we will explore the underappreciated impact of animal activity on riverbank stability, as part of an exciting field of zoogeomorphology.