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Putative dicynodont coprolites from the Upper Triassic of Poland
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology.
2014 (English)In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, ISSN 0031-0182, E-ISSN 1872-616X, Vol. 411, 1-17 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A significant number (more than 100) of brownto dark and silty, carbonate or pyrite-mineralized, in part organic carbon-rich, spherical or oval-shaped structures have been collected fromthe Upper Triassic (uppermost NorianlowerRhaetian) sediments of the Lipie Śląskie clay-pit at Lisowice near Lubliniec town, Poland. Their geological context, morphology, content, geochemistry and association with skeletal remains suggest they are fecal masses of a sizable herbivorous tetrapod. The only large herbivore known from the site is a giant 5 meter-long dicynodont (Synapsida: Anomodontia), represented by numerous bones and also by large, oval-shaped footprints. The putative dicynodont coprolites were collected from mudstone and siltstone with numerous organic remains that were deposited in anoxic conditions. In addition, REEs and other trace element concentrations suggest that the burial environment and diagenesis of these coprolites were under anoxic conditions. SEM and thin section images of the coprolite matrix show numerous nests with pyrite (probably bacterial in origin) and large amount of mineral particles. The putative dicynodont coprolites contain also amorphous, dark organic matter, poorly preserved palynomorphs, small fragments of plant cuticle. Detailed characteristic of these coprolites reveals possible implications for the ecology and physiology of the source animal species. The δ 13C values of the gymnospermcuticle and dark organic matter measured in three coprolites are −23.4‰, −21.2‰and −20.3‰, all average. The evidence from these coprolites suggests that dicynodonts processed plant soft elements into very small pieces, but wood fragments were found also in a mass accumulation in two coprolites.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 411, 1-17 p.
Keyword [en]
Coprolites, Dicynodont, Ecology, Physiology, Upper Triassic, Poland
National Category
Biological Sciences Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Earth Science with specialization in Historical Geology and Palaeontology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-241159DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2014.06.013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-241159DiVA: diva2:777708
Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2015-01-08 Last updated: 2015-01-09Bibliographically approved

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Niedzwiedzki, Grzegorz
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Department of Organismal Biology
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