- The Paleontological Society
Two new insect-related ichnogenera are reported in fossil dinosaur bones from Upper Cretaceous continental strata in Madagascar and Utah. Cubiculum ornatus n. igen. and isp. is described from numerous fossil bones in the Upper Cretaceous Maevarano Formation of northwestern Madagascar, and consists of hollow, ovoid chambers with concave flanks excavated into both spongy and compact bone. Traces similar in morphology to Cubiculum ornatus have been reported elsewhere in North America, Asia, Europe, and Africa in bones ranging in age from Jurassic to Pleistocene, and have been interpreted as pupal chambers constructed by carrion beetle larvae. Osteocallis mandibulus n. igen. and isp. is described in dinosaur bones from continental deposits of the Upper Cretaceous Maevarano Formation of Madagascar and the Upper Cretaceous Kaiparowits Formation of southern Utah. O. mandibulus consists of shallow, meandering surface trails, composed of numerous arcuate grooves, bored into compact (cortical) bone surfaces, and is tentatively interpreted as a feeding trace. Based on similar patterns of bioglyph preserved in both Cubiculum ornatus and Osteocallis mandibulus, the tracemaker is interpreted to be the same or similar for both borings. Given the recurrent association with animal remains, the tracemaker is furthermore presumed to be a necrophagous or osteophagous insect that used bone as a substrate for both reproduction (C. ornatus) and feeding (O. mandibulus).