Middle Miocene serial killers: Drilled gastropods from the south-western margin of the Central Paratethys, Croatia

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Marija Bošnjak
Jasenka Sremac
Bojan Karaica
Ivan Mađerić
Anja Jarić


This paper focuses on traces of drilling predation in the middle Miocene gastropod assemblage of the Zaprešić Brijeg locality, Croatia, which provides further insight into the palaeoecology of the south-western margin of the Pannonian Basin System during the Badenian. The analyzed gastropod shells were collected in the first half of the 20th century, and are housed in the Croatian Natural History Museum (CNHM) in Zagreb. The CNHM Zaprešić Brijeg collections contain 11063 gastropod shells, of which 1024 have been identified as drilled (9.3% of the sample), with 633 successfully drilled, 113 unsuccessfully drilled, and 278 multiply drilled shells. The most represented families are Potamididae, Nassariidae, Clavatulidae, Turritellidae, Cerithiidae, Muricidae and Naticidae. The gastropod families Naticidae and Muricidae are recognized as the probable predators based on the shape of the drill holes. Middle Miocene (Badenian) gastropods drilling frequency at Zaprešić Brijeg is 5.72%, which is lower than the recorded Badenian gastropods drilling frequency in the Central Paratethys, while the overall gastropod prey effectiveness from the studied locality (15.15%) is higher than the average of the neighbouring Badenian localities in the Central Paratethys. Among the most represented gastropods at this locality, the highest drilling frequency occurs in the infaunal suspension feeders Turritellidae (14.45%), which mostly show traces of the naticid drilling.


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