Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hyaena turds hold many secrets

Some of the coprolites found at the site.
This post is about fossilized poop (called coprolites). Pesquero and colleagues report on an exceptionally rich assemblage of hyaena coprolites (nearly 1000 specimens) from the site of La Roma 2 in Spain. Based on their size and morphology the authors attribute the assemblage to the Late Miocene hyaenid species Lycyaena chaeretisCoprolites often preserve fossil pollen, which make them useful for paleoenvironmental reconstruction. 

A spotted hyaena eating a flamingo.

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