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GEOREF RECORD

Enigmatic, biogenically induced structures in Pleistocene marine deposits; a first record of fossil ambergris

Angela Baldanza, Roberto Bizzarri, Federico Famiani, Paolo Monaco, Roberto Pellegrino and Paola Sassi
Enigmatic, biogenically induced structures in Pleistocene marine deposits; a first record of fossil ambergris
Geology (Boulder) (July 2013) 41 (10): 1075-1078

Abstract

Probable fossil ambergris occurs within early Pleistocene shallow-marine clay deposits in western Umbria (central Italy). More than 25 large, permineralized structures are scattered over an area of approximately 1200 m (super 2) . These are commonly convex to elongated, helicoidal to concentric, calcium carbonate-rich structures, 30-60 cm high and 60-120 cm wide. Permineralized squid beaks and altered organic matter occur inside these structures. Preliminary chemical data reveal the presence of organic molecules compatible with the degradation of cellular lipids, whose cholic acids indicate the presence of mammalian gastric or intestinal activity; eight free amino acids were also found. The results allow the identification of these structures as intestinal products of sperm whales living approximately 1.75 m.y. ago. The described fossil structures represent the only known example of Pleistocene sperm whale coprolites.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 41
Serial Issue: 10
Title: Enigmatic, biogenically induced structures in Pleistocene marine deposits; a first record of fossil ambergris
Affiliation: University of Perugia, Department of Earth Sciences, Perugia, Italy
Pages: 1075-1078
Published: 20130730
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 35
Accession Number: 2013-069364
Categories: Sedimentary petrology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
N42°49'60" - N42°49'60", E11°58'00" - E11°58'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Camerino, ITA, Italy
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201341
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