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Coprolites: Taphonomic and Paleoecological Implications

Coprolites: Taphonomic and Paleoecological Implications,10.1007/978-90-481-9956-3_14,Terry Harrison

Coprolites: Taphonomic and Paleoecological Implications   (Citations: 3)
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Recent paleontological collections at Laetoli and Kakesio have yielded a number of coprolites of medium- to large-sized carnivores, and a rare collection of ruminant coprolites. The carnivore coprolites appear to belong to a diversity of taxa, including canids, felids and hyaenids. Their occurrence confirms other lines of evidence that carnivores played an important role in the accumulation and composition of the fossil remains at Laetoli. Ruminant coprolites are extremely rare in the African fossil record, and are the result of unusual preservational conditions. The dung can be attributed to medium- to large-sized ruminants, including Giraffa stillei and at least two species of bovids. The consistency of most of the ruminant dung and the occasional presence of seeds indicates that deposition occurred primarily during or soon after the rainy season, a finding consistent with the sedimentological evidence. The presence of seeds and of coarse particles of herbaceous and woody plant material in several coprolites supports stable isotope and mesowear studies indicating that the ruminants at Laetoli were predominantly mixed feeders.
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    • ...Yellow Marker Tuff to below Tuff 5. It is notable for several marked local facies variations, including a localized finegrained waterlain deposit of reworked tuff, which has yielded very well preserved insect fossils, plant material and ruminant coprolites from between Tuffs 7 and 8 (see Harrison and Kweka 2011; Bamford 2011b; Krell and Schawaller 2011; Harrison 2011b) located at UTM 36, 745664E, 9645210N...

    Peter Ditchfieldet al. Sedimentology, Lithostratigraphy and Depositional History of the Laeto...

    • ...3 Horizon: Laetoli Beds, upper unit, 60–70 cm above Tuff 7. From a soft pale brown clay horizon, 11 cm thick, rich in fossil plant material, insects, and ruminant coprolites (see Harrison 2011, Harrison and Kweka 2011)...

    Ian J. Kitchinget al. Lepidoptera, Insecta

    • ...As a consequence, the ecological context at Laetoli has been extensively investigated in the past (Leakey and Harris 1987; Andrews 1989, 2006; Cerling 1992; Andrews and Humphrey 1999; Musiba 1999; Kovarovic et al. 2002; Kovarovic 2004; Su 2005; Harrison 2005; Kovarovic and Andrews 2007; Kingston and Harrison 2007; Musiba et al. 2007; Su and Harrison 2007, 2008; Andrews and Bamford 2008; Peters et al. 2008), and is a special focus of ...
    • ...Research on the fossil ostriches and birds’ eggs has already been published (Harrison 2005; Harrison and Msuya 2005)...
    • ... in mind, renewed work at Laetoli has attempted to reconstruct the paleoecology using information from a wide diversity of sources (i.e., modern-day ecosystems, paleobotany, phytoliths, palynology, invertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, stable isotopes, mesowear, ecomorphology, and community structure analyses) (Andrews et al. 2011; Bamford 2011a, b; Rossouw and Scott 2011; Kingston 2011; Kaiser 2011; Hernesniemi et al. 2011; Harrison ...

    Terry Harrison. Introduction: The Laetoli Hominins and Associated Fauna

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