Ichnotaxonomy and ichnospecies

Christian GAILLARD

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 10 (2-3) - Pages 209-218

Published on 30 April 2011

This article is a part of the thematic issue The species concept in palaeontology: Ontogeny, variability, evolution

Ichnotaxonomy classify and name trace fossils, an heterogeneous set of sedimentary structures resulting from various animal activities. A uniform vocabulary is needed for palaeoichnology, a discipline now currently used for sedimentological, palaeoecological and palaeoethological studies. The rules of binominal nomenclature (ichnogenus–ichnospecies) established by the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature are followed. This artificial approach (parataxonomy) needs to be easy to use, but is rather hard to establish. This brief article deals with general considerations and underlines particularities and difficulties of ichnotaxonomy. It shows that, to be efficient, ichnotaxonomy especially, needs rigour and pragmatism.


Ichnotaxonomy, Ichnotaxa, Ichnogenus, Ichnospecies, Nomenclature, Trace fossils

Download full article in PDF format Order a reprint