Bachelor of Arts
Shelf and Slope Experimental Taphonomy Initiative, SSETI, Sea urchins, Cheilostomes, Bryozoa, Eucidaris, Bahamas, Taphonomic
In 1993 and 1994, the Shelf and Slope Experimental Taphonomy Initiative (SSETI) deployed thirty-five samples of sea urchins along the continental shelf/slope of the Bahamas in an effort to explore the paleoecology and taphonomic potentials of shallow water carbonate environments. Samples were retrieved at 1-, 2-, and 6-year intervals for examination and comparison of epibiont accumulation. Tests and spines of the sea urchin Eucidaris were examined for encrusting cheilostome Bryozoa. Specimens were identified to the genus level. Assessment of abundance and distribution patterns with water depth shows that cheilostomes are prevalent in photic waters, and lacking at depth. Burial of substrates limits bryozoan settlement patterns in shallow waters but not below the photic zone. Preliminary results indicate that cheilostomes may be useful biomarkers, at least in modern environments.
Nytch, Christopher J., "Bad-Boy Bryozoan Biomarkers: Cheilostome Distribution Patterns Along a Bahamian Depth Gradient" (2000). Honors Papers. 513.