Paleontology of the Puez Marl (Lower Cretaceous Period)
The goal of this project was to explore and systematically record the fossil fauna in the Puez marls of the Puez-Gherdenacia (located between Col la Pieres and Col dla Soned). This fauna stems from the Lower Cretaceous; the period from the Lower Valanginian to the Baremian was directly determined, though there were only indirect signs of the Aptian. The project was carried out by Christian Aspmair, Prof. Karl Krainer (University of Innsbruck), and Alexander Lukeneder (Museum of Natural History of Vienna).
The findings consisted of a rich variety of ammonite fauna (approx. 30 species), with typical Mediterranean features, but without boreal influences. Many of the ammonites displayed growths of crinoids and/or sperulide tubes.
A few heteromorphic forms as well as one form (Cantianiceras) described for the first time from Dolomite chalk (until now, it was known only from chalk of the Lessinian Alps) excited special interest.
Beside various ammonite stone cores and ammonite impressions, some aptychs, a few belemnites, aberrant sea urchins, bivalves (Properamusium), and a brachiopod fauna (consisting primarily of Triangope triangulus and Pygite diphyoides) were collected.
Radiolarian fauna (spumellarians) confirms the age of the ammonites. Corresponding publications are in preparation.