Zoophycos and the Role of Type Specimens in Ichnotaxonomy

Zoophycos is a very complex trace fossil and there is still no real agreement concerning the taxonomy and the significance of the ichnofossil. What exactly are the varied structures collected under the name" Zoophycos" ? The type specimen, the first trace fossil name Zoophycos, must be found and studied in order to approach this problem from a taxonomic point of view. The name Zoophycos was proposed in 1855 by Abramo Massalongo; but the specimens he used to describe the ichnogenus were macroalgae, note trace fossils. By chance, among the materiel described by Massalongo, a new type ichospecies can be designated. As it is a true trace fossil, the name "Zoophycos" may be preserved.

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