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Taphonomy and palaeobiology of early Middle Triassic coprolites from the Luoping biota, southwest China: implications for reconstruction of fossil food webs

journal contribution
posted on 2017-05-15, 00:00 authored by Mao Luo, S Hu, M J Benton, Guang ShiGuang Shi, L Zhao, J Huang, H Song, W Wen, Q Zhang, Y Fang, Y Huang, Z-Q Chen
Abundant, exceptionally preserved coprolites are documented from the Luoping biota (Anisian, Middle Triassic) of Yunnan Province, southwest China. These coprolites can be categorized into fourmorphological types: A) bead to ribbon-shaped, B) short to long cylindrical-shaped, C) flattened, disk-like, and D) segmented faeces. Detailed multi-disciplinary studies reveal that coprolite type A was likely produced by invertebrate animals,while coprolite types B to D could be faeces generated by carnivorous fishes or marine reptiles, perhaps from different taxonomic
groups. When compared with coprolites reported from the Lower Triassic, the Luoping forms indicate more complicated predation-prey food web networks. These evidences, combined with body fossil discoveries fromLuoping, suggest the emergence of complex trophic ecosystems in the Anisian,marking the full biotic recovery following the Permian–Triassic Mass Extinction.

History

Journal

Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology

Volume

474

Pagination

232 - 246

Publisher

Elsevier

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

0031-0182

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, Elsevier B.V.