The cephalopods in the paleontological collection Georg Gasser (1857–1931)

Irene Tomelleri, Alexander Lukeneder, Alexander Wagensommer, Giuseppa Forte & Evelyn Kustatscher

In Gasser’s paleozoological collection, cephalopods account for 12% of all specimens. Ammonoidea, Coleoidea, Orthoceratoidea, Nautiloidea and Bactritoidea are the groups represented. Ammonoidea are best documented, with a good variety of genera and species. A preliminary revision was carried out by a former volunteer at the museum (Helmuth Buratti) some ten years ago.Unfortunately, about 40% of the specimens lack information related to their geographic origin. The largest portion of the cephalopod collection comes from Central Europe with the main areas of origin being Germany and the territories of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. Historical Fossil-Lagerstätten and famous fossiliferous lithostratigraphic groups like the Muschelkalk and Solnhofen Plattenkalks of the German regions of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, are well represented by ammonoids, nautiloids and coleoids. The oldest specimens date back to the Silurian and Devonian and come from the German regions of Sauerland (North-Rhine Westphalia) and Hesse, as well as from Poland or from the classic “Barrandian” area in the Czech Republic. The youngest specimen is from the Early Oligocene at Itzehoe (northern Germany). Interestingly, ammonoids from Northern Italy, and especially Trentino-South Tyrol, are relatively rare in the collection. They seem to be linked rather to chance findings by local collectors or Georg Gasser himself, than to a systematic collecting activity. The area is represented, e.g., by some Triassic ammonoids from the St. Cassian Formation (Dolomites; Bozen/Bolzano Province).

ammonoids, nautiloids, St. Cassian Formation, Dolomites

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