GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 118-13
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


REIMER, Julia Lee, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 and HENDRICKS, Jonathan R., Paleontological Research Institution, 1259 Trumansburg Road, Ithaca, NY 14850

The original coloration patterns of fossil mollusk shells sometimes fluoresce when illuminated using ultraviolet light. These revealed patterns are useful for characterizing and distinguishing species and potentially also for predicting phylogenetic relationships. This practice was carried out on mollusk specimens from the Miocene Cercado Fm. and Pliocene Gurabo Fm. of the Cibao Valley of the northern Dominican Republic. Fluorescing patterns and other interesting features were characterized in specimens assigned to at least seven species (six gastropods and one bivalve). These specimens show evidence of well-preserved patterns or otherwise interesting characteristics when viewed under ultraviolet light. Melongena consors (Melongenidae) has at least five spiral bands on the body whorl of the shell, with one large, thick band just below the shoulder. Fasciolaria semistriata (Fasciolariidae) has pigmented spiral lines that cover the body whorl, as well as a row of square-shaped spots just below the shoulder. Hindsiclava henekeni (Pseudomelatomidae) has strongly pigmented ribs on every whorl of the shell. Sconsia laevigata (Cassidae) has a darkly pigmented body whorl with three rows of rectangular, unpigmented spots on the body whorl. Prunum coniforme (Marginellidae) has a solidly pigmented body whorl, but an unpigmented callus. The shell of Cypraea sp. (Cypraeidae) is covered by circular spots. Shells of the bivalve Anodontia sp. (Lucinidae) have a thin outer layer that fluoresces under UV light, but it is unknown if this is associated with pigmentation.