BURROWS OF THE LUNGFISH GNATHORHIZA WITHIN PALEOSOLS OF THE LOWER PERMIAN (WOLFCAMPIAN) OF EASTERN KANSAS: A UNIQUE PALEOENVIRONMENTAL SETTING AND JUSTIFICATION FOR A NEW ICHNOTAXON
The burrows are elliptical in cross-section and range in width from 7 to 53 mm (long axis) and 7 to 19 mm (short axis). They are vertical and range from 100 to 300 mm in length. Burrow bases vary from rounded with diameters equal to or slightly wider than the burrow to expanded bulbous to strongly flask-shaped terminations up to three times the burrow width. Burrow densities ranged from 184 to 402 burrows per square meter. At one locality, approximately 70 percent of the burrows contained articulated and disarticulated skeletons. Burrow densities, burrow and rhizolith cross-cutting relations, and mottling patterns indicate that the burrowing activity occurred over many seasons and was part of the pedogenic process that altered the original deposits. These burrows are very similar to aestivation burrows constructed by Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian, and extant African lungfish. The architectural and surficial burrow morphologies are consistent enough to warrant the formation of a new ichnotaxon that represents this type of behavior.