Ammonoid Paleobiology

Volume 13 of the series Topics in Geobiology pp 607-707

Ammonoid Life and Habitat

  • Gerd E. G. WestermannAffiliated withDepartment of Geology, McMaster University

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Since the last review of Jurassic—Cretaceous ammonoid ecology (Westermann, 1990), much additional work has been done on ammonoid autecology (architecture or macrostructure) as well as on the associations and occurrences of ammonoids in the field (synecology). Important works on Paleozoic through Triassic ammonoids, dispersed in the literature, have not been reviewed previously. Quantitative autecological studies, begun in the mid-1980s, concerned buoyancy and orientation. Electron and light microscopic studies of the shells have also contributed to an understanding of the soft parts. Research on shell fabrication, strength, and hydrodynamics has increased greatly, also contributing to ammonoid autecology. Intraspecific morphological variation has been studied intensively but remains poorly understood ecologically; most authors still fail to consider variation in the functional interpretation of shell shape. Ammonoid synecology was significantly advanced in recent years by the renewed interest in Paleozoic and Mesozoic dysoxic black-shale facies and their relation to eustasy and orbitally enforced cycles. Other recent studies in synecology have emphasized the interrelations among sediment, eustasy, and biofacies. Finally, ammonoid taxonomy has been summarized in The Ammonoidea (Special Volume 18, The Systematics Association, 1981).