benthic (paleo)ecology, ichnology, paleobiology
Living organisms in benthic ecosystems are active modifiers of the substrate they inhabit. Some excavate permanent dwellings in the sand or mud, others plough through the sediment in search of food, many crawl or simply lay on the bottom, while others bore into rock or other hard material. Either infaunal or epifaunal, both are part of the complex flux of matter and energy that take place in the sediment-water interface. This blog deals mostly with these interactions. Taking a look to them from a paleontologist perspective because such a diversity of behaviours is indeed preserved in the geological record as trace fossils.