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Statens Naturhistorisk Museum
Sten Lennart Jakobsen
Coprolite from the Lower Cretacous Jydegaard Formation, Bornholm.
Fragment of a coprolite found in the exposure of the Jydegaard Formation in the now abandoned Carl NielsenÂs Sandpit at Robbedale on Bornholm (55Â°04`49.15N, 14Â°45`00E) ca. 5 km east of Rønne. The specimen has a cylindrical circumference with the largest diameter measuring 2.8 cm. and the overall length of the coprolite is 4.4 cm. One end is complete and the diameter is decreasing towards the rounded end. The other end of the specimen is broken off exposing a cross section through the coprolite. In the broken cross section, two distinct circular voids are present inside the coprolite. The voids have a diameter of 3Â4 mm and extends, slightly curving about 1 cm into the coprolite. The surface is smooth and a ganoid scale of the semionotid fish Lepidotes is visible in the surface of the coprolite. Several groups and rows of small pits are located around the surface, and on one side, three parallel grooves are present (Fig. 1). The small pits and grooves in the surface are similar to traces from extant feces attacked by fly larvae. The coprolite most likely originates from a turtle or a carnivorous dinosaur.
The coprolite has been CT scanned, revealing the extend and morphology of the two burrows inside. The burrows has a constant diameter suggesting they are made by coprophagous organisms like dung beetles or fly larvae.
This is the first record of a well-preserved coprolite from the Mesozoic of Bornholm, and add important knowledge to the sparse fossil record of continental Cretaceous vertebrates. In addition, the borings from coprophagous organisms, most likely dung beetles and fly larvae is an interesting taphonomic history, that shows the coprolite has been laid on dry land, then attacked by flies or other insects and then finally been buried in the lagoonal sand. The specimen will be published by MilÃ n, Rasmussen and Bonde, and should be declared Danekræ.
See the publication
COPROLITES WITH PREY REMAINS AND TRACES FROM COPROPHAGOUS ORGANISMS FROM THE LOWER CRETACEOUS (LATE BERRIASIAN) JYDEGAARD FORMATION OF BORNHOLM, DENMARK
JESPER MILÃN, BO W. RASMUSSEN AND NIELS BONDE.
Sporfossil - koprolit