Article: Phosphatized soft-tissue in Triassic bivalves
Exceptionally preserved specimens of the genera Myophoria, Neoschizodus and Trigonodus (Bivalvia, Palaeoheterodonta, Trigonioida) from carbonate sediments of the Muschelkalk (Anisian, Ladinian) contain phosphatized soft-tissues. This is the oldest record of soft-tissue preservation in bivalves and the first from the German Muschelkalk. The phosphatized remains are here interpreted as relics of the originally chitinous gill supports, the gill axis, the labial palps (?), the adductor muscles, the pedal retractor muscles, the mantle margin including the radial mantle musculature, and the 'siphons'. According to microprobe analysis, the mineral replacing the soft-tissue is mainly apatite and, more rarely, francolite. Additionally, quartz filled voids within the gill supports, and in one sample it occurs in minute crystals in the phosphatized remains of the adductor muscle of Neoschizodus. Myophoria, Neoschizodus and Trigonodus were soft-bottom dwellers and five of the specimens were discovered in life position. This is indicated by geopetal structures in three specimens.