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Upper Cretaceous coprolites from the Münster Basin (northwestern Germany) : a glimpse into the diet of extinct animals

Anagnostakis, Stavros LU (2013) In Dissertations in Geology at Lund University GEOR02 20131
Department of Geology
Abstract (Swedish)
En omfattande samling koproliter från tre lokaler med sediment från sen kritatid i Münsterbassängen (nordvästra Tyskland) har studerats med en mängd olika analytiska tekniker med avsikten att belysa urtida trofiska nivåer och relationen mellan rovdjur och bytesdjur. Den fosfatiska sammansättningen, inneslutningar av benmaterial, storlek och form tyder på att de flesta eller samtliga koproliter producerades av rovlevande vertebrater. Framför allt exemplaren av sen santonsk ålder (som mäter upp till 90 mm) tyder på värddjur av påtaglig storlek. Beninnneslutningarnas karaktäristik tyder på att rovdjuren framför allt jagade fisk men att de även kunde inkludera sköldpaddor i sin diet. Baserat på koproliternas yttre karaktäristik delades... (More)
En omfattande samling koproliter från tre lokaler med sediment från sen kritatid i Münsterbassängen (nordvästra Tyskland) har studerats med en mängd olika analytiska tekniker med avsikten att belysa urtida trofiska nivåer och relationen mellan rovdjur och bytesdjur. Den fosfatiska sammansättningen, inneslutningar av benmaterial, storlek och form tyder på att de flesta eller samtliga koproliter producerades av rovlevande vertebrater. Framför allt exemplaren av sen santonsk ålder (som mäter upp till 90 mm) tyder på värddjur av påtaglig storlek. Beninnneslutningarnas karaktäristik tyder på att rovdjuren framför allt jagade fisk men att de även kunde inkludera sköldpaddor i sin diet. Baserat på koproliternas yttre karaktäristik delades exemplaren upp i åtta olika morfotyper. Tänkbara koprolitproducenter innefattar mosasaurier, benfiskar och hajar, vilka samtliga har rapporterats från Münsterbassängen. En fiskätande haj tros ha producerat de heteropolära koproliterna medan benfiskar bedöms ha producerat de amfipolära koproliterna. Förekomsten av märken och skåror på utsidan av flertalet koproliter tyder på hantering av koprofaga vertebrater och/eller evertebrater. Epibionter är också ett vanligt förekommande inslag och de flesta har identifierats som brachiopoden Isocrania. Den här studien visar att kombinationen av ett flertal analystekniker är det mest framgångsrika sättet att avslöja ursprung, sammansättning och betydelsen hos koproliter i analyser av dåtida ekosystem. (Less)
Abstract
A large number of coprolites from three localities with Upper Cretaceous strata from the Münster Basin (northwestern Germany) have been subjected to a wide array of analytical techniques with the aim of shedding some light on ancient trophic structures and predator–prey interactions. The phosphatic composition, bone inclusions, size and morphology suggest that most or all coprolites were produced by carnivorous vertebrates, especially the late Santonian specimens (up to 90 mm) imply host animals of significant size. Based on the nature of the bone inclusions, the animals preyed principally upon fish, but may also have included turtles in their diet. Based on their gross morphology, the coprolite specimens are subdivided into eight... (More)
A large number of coprolites from three localities with Upper Cretaceous strata from the Münster Basin (northwestern Germany) have been subjected to a wide array of analytical techniques with the aim of shedding some light on ancient trophic structures and predator–prey interactions. The phosphatic composition, bone inclusions, size and morphology suggest that most or all coprolites were produced by carnivorous vertebrates, especially the late Santonian specimens (up to 90 mm) imply host animals of significant size. Based on the nature of the bone inclusions, the animals preyed principally upon fish, but may also have included turtles in their diet. Based on their gross morphology, the coprolite specimens are subdivided into eight different morphotypes. Possible coprolite producers include mosasaurs, bony fish and sharks, all of which have been recorded from the Münster Basin. A piscivorous shark producer is inferred for heteropolar coprolites and a bony fish producer for amphipolar ones. The presence of tracks and traces on several of the coprolites suggest handling by coprophagous vertebrates and/or invertebrates. Remains of epibionts are also common and have primarily been identified as brachiopods (Isocrania). The findings of this study highlight that a combination of multiple analytical techniques is the most comprehensive approach for unraveling the origin, composition and importance of coprolites in palaeoecosystem analyses. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Anagnostakis, Stavros LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Koproliter från sen kritatid i Münsterbassängen (nordvästra Tysklad) : en inblick i dieten hos utdöda djur.
course
GEOR02 20131
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
koproliter, carnivorous vertebrates, Germany, Münster Basin, Coprolites, Upper Cretaceous, sen krita, Münsterbassängen, Tyskland, rovlevande vertebrater
publication/series
Dissertations in Geology at Lund University
report number
357
language
English
id
3916864
date added to LUP
2013-09-11 14:36:06
date last changed
2014-07-03 03:42:59
@misc{3916864,
  abstract     = {A large number of coprolites from three localities with Upper Cretaceous strata from the Münster Basin (northwestern Germany) have been subjected to a wide array of analytical techniques with the aim of shedding some light on ancient trophic structures and predator–prey interactions. The phosphatic composition, bone inclusions, size and morphology suggest that most or all coprolites were produced by carnivorous vertebrates, especially the late Santonian specimens (up to 90 mm) imply host animals of significant size. Based on the nature of the bone inclusions, the animals preyed principally upon fish, but may also have included turtles in their diet. Based on their gross morphology, the coprolite specimens are subdivided into eight different morphotypes. Possible coprolite producers include mosasaurs, bony fish and sharks, all of which have been recorded from the Münster Basin. A piscivorous shark producer is inferred for heteropolar coprolites and a bony fish producer for amphipolar ones. The presence of tracks and traces on several of the coprolites suggest handling by coprophagous vertebrates and/or invertebrates. Remains of epibionts are also common and have primarily been identified as brachiopods (Isocrania). The findings of this study highlight that a combination of multiple analytical techniques is the most comprehensive approach for unraveling the origin, composition and importance of coprolites in palaeoecosystem analyses.},
  author       = {Anagnostakis, Stavros},
  keyword      = {koproliter,carnivorous vertebrates,Germany,Münster Basin,Coprolites,Upper Cretaceous,sen krita,Münsterbassängen,Tyskland,rovlevande vertebrater},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Dissertations in Geology at Lund University},
  title        = {Upper Cretaceous coprolites from the Münster Basin (northwestern Germany) : a glimpse into the diet of extinct animals},
  year         = {2013},
}