Zoophycos is a complex burrow with stacked tiers, in which the tiers are made of spreiten-adorned lobes that radiate outward from a central tube in a downward spiral to form a shape that looks something like a Christmas tree in three-dimensions. Each lobe contains a peripheral tube, with spreiten loops between the tubes. The spreite in map view have "rooster tail" patterns that spiral out from a central point. By contrast, the spreite in cross-section view may be arranged in parallel trains, in which each train resembles an individual Rhizocorallium burrow. Zoophycos characterizes outer shelf (Neritic) environments, and it is often found in close association with Chondrites burrows.


Examples of Zoophycos traces

Zoophycos in outcrop
(cleaned using an air gun)
Miocene Grund Fm, Austria
(Photo by Dr. Peter Pervesler)

Zoophycos in outcrop
Cretaceous La Jolla Fm
San Diego, California

Zoophycos in outcrop
Cretaceous Venado Sandstone
Great Valley Sequence
Monticello Dam Section
Sacramento Valley, California

Zoophycos in core, Modern deep-sea mud
Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 205
Nankai Trough, near Honshu Island,
which is south of offshore Japan

Zoophycos in core, Modern deep-sea mud
Ocean Drilling Program (ODP)
Collected by the JOIDES program

Zoophycos type specimens
Collected 1855 by A. Massalongo
and first described by him.
Natural History Museum of Verona