Studies of Late Cretaceous coprolites

Late Cretaceous coprolites from Iharkút

The study of coprolites produced by vertebrates is an old and important part of paleontology, but up to now it was not a significant paleontological topic in Hungary. If we analyse the fossilized faeces, our knowledge would be more complete about the biological processes, the environment and lifestlye of the extinct animals. Since 2013 the coprolite-remains of Iharkút are investigated by Martin Segesdi .

In some cases the morphological features are useful to systematize the remains, but the embedded dietary inclusions could tell us more about the animals themselves. The coprolites from Iharkút contain plant and animal inclusions, which are visible in thin sections and on CT-scans. Study of mineralogical and chemical composition of coprolites could help to distinguish the herbivore and carnivore excrements. To identify the prehistoric animal who left the excrement behind, we must find obvious impresses, for example a nutriment-mark what is typical only for certain animals.

Coprolites from Iharkút housed in the Paleontological Collection of the Hungarian Natural History Museum
Coprolites from Iharkút housed in the Paleontological Collection of the Hungarian Natural History Museum

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