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Sci Rep. 2017 Jun 2;7(1):2723. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-02893-9.

Synchrotron phase-contrast microtomography of coprolites generates novel palaeobiological data.

Author information

1
Department of Organismal Biology, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18A, 752 36, Uppsala, Sweden. martin.qvarnstrom@ebc.uu.se.
2
Department of Organismal Biology, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18A, 752 36, Uppsala, Sweden.
3
European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, 71 avenue des Martyrs, CS40200, 38043, Grenoble, France.

Abstract

Coprolites (fossil faeces) reveal clues to ancient trophic relations, and contain inclusions representing organisms that are rarely preserved elsewhere. However, much information is lost by classical techniques of investigation, which cannot find and image the inclusions in an adequate manner. We demonstrate that propagation phase-contrast synchrotron microtomography (PPC-SRμCT) permits high-quality virtual 3D-reconstruction of coprolite inclusions, exemplified by two coprolites from the Upper Triassic locality Krasiejów, Poland; one of the coprolites contains delicate beetle remains, and the other one a partly articulated fish and fragments of bivalves.

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