Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Possible coprolites from the Utica Shale

I found two interesting fossils in the Utica shale (Ordovician, Darriwillian stage) while looking for Trilobites this past fall. Both appear to be crushed and disarticulated remains of Triarthrus eatoni Trilobites. The difference between these specimens and others that are disarticulated is that these show no hint of organization and are broken into shapes not normally seen in molts. There are also small brachiopods scattered among the remains. I'm thinking these are corprolites from a large cephalopod or other predator who ate Triarthrus eatoni. The Brachiopods could be present because they colonized the coprolite as a hard substrate in an otherwise muddy sea floor.

Specimen #1

Specimen #2

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