Skip to Main Content
GEOREF RECORD

Remarkable preservation of undigested muscle tissue within a Late Cretaceous tyrannosaurid coprolite from Alberta, Canada

Karen Chin, David A. Eberth, Mary H. Schweitzer, Thomas A. Rando, Wendy J. Sloboda and John R. Horner
Remarkable preservation of undigested muscle tissue within a Late Cretaceous tyrannosaurid coprolite from Alberta, Canada
Palaios (June 2003) 18 (3): 286-294

Abstract

Exceptionally detailed soft tissues have been identified within the fossilized feces of a large Cretaceous tyrannosaurid. Microscopic cord-like structures in the coprolitic ground mass are visible in thin section and with scanning electron microscopy. The morphology, organization, and context of these structures indicate that they are the fossilized remains of undigested muscle tissue. This unusual discovery indicates specific digestive and taphonomic conditions, including a relatively short gut-residence time, rapid lithification, and minimal diagenetic recrystallization. Rapid burial of the feces probably was facilitated by a flood event on the ancient coastal lowland plain on which the fecal mass was deposited.


ISSN: 0883-1351
Serial Title: Palaios
Serial Volume: 18
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Remarkable preservation of undigested muscle tissue within a Late Cretaceous tyrannosaurid coprolite from Alberta, Canada
Affiliation: University of Colorado at Boulder, Department of Geological Sciences, Boulder, CO, United States
Pages: 286-294
Published: 200306
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 53
Accession Number: 2004-042893
Categories: Vertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables
N49°04'60" - N49°04'60", W110°19'60" - W110°19'60"
Secondary Affiliation: Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, CAN, CanadaMontana State University, USA, United StatesStanford University School of Medicine, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 200412
Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal