Paper No. 31
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


STEPP, Ashleigh M.1, FELDMANN, Rodney M.1 and PORTELL, Roger W.2, (1)Department of Geology, Kent State University, 221 McGilvrey Hall, Kent, OH 44242, (2)Division of Invertebrate Paleontology, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, 1659 Museum Road, Gainesville, FL 32611,

The aim of this study is to describe a collection of brachyuran decapod crustaceans (crabs) from the Seroe Domi Formation of Curaçao, and to compare the diversity of the decapods to those from other similar-aged reef deposits in the surrounding Caribbean islands. Though the Seroe Domi Formation is a complex Mio-Pliocene unit that has been studied for its sedimentology and diagenetic history, up until this point the decapod crustaceans of the formation have been ignored. Very little attention was paid to the fossils in the unit in past studies other than to use the corals and microfossils to help determine the paleoenvironmental setting.

The collection totals approximately 250 specimens that exhibit excellent preservation of fine details, including fragile spines and delicate surface textures; however, the majority of the specimens are fragmented and disarticulated. At the current stage of research, five families have been identified as: Raninidae (de Haan, 1841), Leucosiidae (Samouelle, 1819), Majidae (Samouelle, 1819), Portunidae (Rafinesque, 1815), and Calappidae (de Haan, 1833). Additional decapod taxa are represented by fragmentary remains and are difficult to identify.

While the Seroe Domi Formation represents a coral reef environment, the majority of the corals are found in the subunits overlying the horizon where the decapods were collected. The sediments in the subunit where the decapods were collected represent a soft bottom, fore-reef talus environment; the decapods in the assemblage are typical of this environment.