Paper No. 7-3
Presentation Time: 8:40 AM
DRILLING PREDATION AND TAPHONOMY OF GASTROPODS ALONG ENVIRONMENTAL GRADIENTS, SAN SALVADOR, BAHAMAS
Pigeon Creek, located on the island of San Salvador, Bahamas is a unique shallow tidal lagoon, which has recently been proposed by the Bahamian government to be conserved as a National Marine Park. The intertidal creek is surrounded by mangroves with the calcareous sediment bottom covered in patches of seagrass above Pleistocene limestone bedrock. The interior of Pigeon Creek reaches a maximum depth of 3 m in the tidally scoured channel. This location is of particular interest as it serves as a nursery for many marine species which, as they mature, leave the lagoon through the mouth where it joins into the Caribbean Sea. From field work in July 2015, the frequency of predatory drill holes in gastropods was observed between two distinct environments, the less disturbed northern point to the southern bay which experienced more tidal affects near the mouth of Pigeon Creek, which showed differences in both temperature (28˚C and 33˚C) and salinity (35 to 46 ppt). In addition to these measurements, drill hole size, location, and various additional taphonomic parameters were quantified. This preliminary study aims to assess the relationship between community structure, predator-prey interactions, and taphonomic processes along various gradients which occur in these unique settings.