of coprolites. It is one of the best documented and complete records in the world referring to a continental wetland from the Lower Cretaceous, ”the UAM researchers say. “Within this set – they add – we have managed to characterize up to 12 different types of coprolites, taking into account their morphology. We have also elaborated a dichotomous key to specify its shapes, the geometry of its ends and its symmetry ”. Vertebrate predators The fossils were studied with non-destructive techniques. The researchers analyzed the chemical composition of the matrix using EDX analysis, noting that it is composed primarily of calcium phosphate. This would indicate that the producers of the coprolites were carnivores, in part due to the breakdown of the apatite

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that is part of the bones. “According to their forms, and Tunisia WhatsApp Number List sometimes also because of their content, it can be said that the producers of certain coprolites were vertebrate predators, since a good part of these ichnofossils contain small bone fragments”, say the experts. “What’s more,” they add, “a large part of the bones included in the coprolites are from fish, so it can be assured that the producers were mostly ichthyophages. This means that the predators that produced these fecal masses could have been other fish, crocodiles, salamanders or even turtles ”. Eating strategies Researchers are trying to understand why coprolites are so abundant in the Las Hoyas deposit. Preservation in this site is associated with the presence of microbial

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mats, capable of protecting the remains and favoring fossilization. When estimating the relative abundance of coprolites in the sediment layers associated with the periods of greatest growth of the microbial mats, the percentage of coprolites in these is up to twenty times higher than in those periods with less development or even without these microbial mats. One of the researchers’ conclusions is that fossil feces allow proposing different types of eating strategies. Thus, they suggest that 126 million years ago it could be distinguished between less efficient digestive processes and / or less aggressive acid-enzymatic contents, and more efficient digestive strategies that would give rise to stools in which hardly any bone inclusions appear and more degraded.

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