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Maastricht, Netherlands

Ten years after his return to England on board 'The Beagle' in 1836, Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882) started collecting, dissecting, describing and interpreting both extant and fossil acorn and goose barnacles (cirripedes). In all, he spent eight years on this animal group and, between 1851 and 1855, published four authoritative and admirably illustrated volumes on these sessile crustaceans; a highly valuable source of information, even to the present day. The Maastricht pharmacist, Joseph Augustin Hubert de Bosquet (1814-1880), who also was a well-versed collector and student of Late Cretaceous fossils from the nearby St Pietersberg, corresponded with Darwin on the subject of cirripedes between 17 December 1852 and early November 1856. In addition, these gentlemen exchanged monographs, manuscripts, engravings and specimens. At a time when Darwin was finally trying to come to terms with his 'wretched' barnacles, he much appreciated the support and understanding coming from Maastricht and his letters clearly show the respect he had for his fellow barnacle worker. In fact, Darwin's barnacle work strengthened his resolve to publish his 1859 masterpiece, On the Origin of Species. Current studies of cirripedes in the Maastricht area seek to complement de Bosquet's pioneering work and document in more detail the stratigraphic ranges of the various taxa as well as their relationships with species elsewhere in Europe as well as overseas. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Donovan S.K.,Naturalis Biodiversity Center | Jagt J.W.M.,Natuurhistorisch Museum Maastricht
Ichnos:an International Journal of Plant and Animal

Two tests of the holasteroid echinoid Hemipneustes striatoradiatus (Leske) from the type area of the Maastrichtian Stage (Upper Cretaceous) bear a varied infestation of episkeletozoans (oysters, bryozoan colony, and serpulids), borings (probable Caulostrepsis isp., Oichnus simplex Bromley), surface abrasion (Gnathichnus? isp.), and pits (O. excavatus Donovan and Jagt). Only O. excavatus represents a premortem infestation. In one specimen, the four individual pits of this ichnospecies are each associated with a different ambulacrum and pore pairs that, in life, bore respiratory tube feet; the anterior ambulacrum, of different gross morphology, is not infested. In the second test, three out of four of the same ambulacra are infested, although there are also O. excavatus in the interambulacra. The association between O. excavatus and the ambulacra of the echinoid, and thus its tube feet, is open to several plausible explanations, but most likely provided some form of feeding or protective advantage to the pit-forming organism. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Shark rostral nodes from the Yorktown Formation (Zanclean, early Pliocene) of Lee Creek Mine, North Carolina (USA), previously assigned to the genus Lamna Cuvier, 1816, have been reinterpreted using a preliminary identification key for extant Lamniformes based on rostral morphology. In addition, the fossil rostral nodes have been compared in detail with Recent material of both the porbeagle, Lamna nasus (Bonnaterre, 1788) and the salmon shark, Lamna ditropis Hubbs & Follet, 1947. Despite the fact that the rostra compared relatively well with those of Recent Lamna, the Lee Creek Mine specimens proved to differ significantly in having near-parallel lateral rostral cartilages that join the rostral node individually, instead of abutting ones. Based on this observation, we here propose to strike the genus Lamna from the Lee Creek Mine faunal list, so long as no other diagnostic material is forthcoming. These partially preserved rostra are likely to have belonged to extinct taxa within the families Lamnidae or Otodontidae, both of which have been documented from the Yorktown Formation on the basis of isolated teeth of at least three species, Cosmopolitodus hastalis (Agassiz, 1838), Megaselachus megalodon (Agassiz, 1835) and Parotodus benedenii (Le Hon, 1871). Source

Jagt J.W.M.,Natuurhistorisch Museum Maastricht | Jagt-Yazykova E.A.,University of Opole
Scripta Geologica

A synthesis of the stratigraphy of the Maastrichtian Stage in its extended type area, that is, southern Limburg (the Netherlands), and adjacent Belgian and German territories, is presented with a brief historical overview. Quarrying activities at the large quarry complex of ENCI-HeidelbergCement Group will officially come to an end on July 1, 2018. However, the stratotype section below the Lichtenberg farmstead and directly behind the main office building at the Lage Kanaaldijk (Maastricht), will be preserved, as will various faces within the quarry complex. Strata of Maastrichtian age include the Vijlen, Lixhe 1-3 and Lanaye members of the Gulpen Formation, as well as the Valkenburg, Gronsveld, Schiepersberg, Emael, Nekum and Meerssen members of the Maastricht Formation. The lower Maastrichtian portion is comparatively poorly preserved, being characterised by frequent reworking; only elements of the Belemnella obtusa, Belemnella sumensis and/or Belemnella cimbrica zones (the two last-named representing the traditional Belemnella occidentalis Zone) have been recorded. Belemnitella junior and Belemnitella lwowensis define the upper Maastrichtian, both first appearing in interval 4 of the Vijlen Member. At the ENCI-HeidelbergCement Group quarry, the lower/upper Maastrichtian boundary is placed at c. 5 m above the Zonneberg Horizon on benthic foraminifer evidence; strontium isotope data are in agreement. The highest portion of the Meerssen Member (uppermost IVf-6 and IVf-7) is missing from the type section; this part of the sequence is exposed at the former Curfs quarry (Geulhem), the Berg en Terblijt Horizon being equated with the Cretaceous/Paleogene (K/Pg boundary). Source

Belemnitellid coleoids abound at some levels within the Gulpen and Maastricht formations in the study area, and? belemnite graveyards? have long been known from the Bovenste Bos (Epen) and Slenaken- Beutenaken areas in southern Limburg, the Netherlands. Recent studies have demonstrated the presence of at least three species of the genus Belemnitella d?Orbigny, 1840, and five of Belemnella Nowak, 1913, and its subgenera Belemnella, Pachybelemnella Schulz, 1979, and Neobelemnella Naidin, 1975. Representatives of Belemnitella junior Nowak, 1913, and Belemnella (Neobelemnella) gr. Kazimiroviensis (Sko?ozdr?wna, 1932) are the only coleoids to reach the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary, and members of the latter group may even have persisted into the earliest Paleocene. Source

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