Abstract

Copepods readily ingested coccospheres during feeding experiments. Fecal pellets contained coccoliths in a state of excellent preservation, although some mechanical breakage occurred, especially among delicate forms. Fecal pellets collected in deep waters of the eastern tropical Pacific contained mainly siliceous plankton remains but also some coccoliths showing good to moderate preservation. Some coccolith-bearing fecal matter apparently reached the sea floor, even well below the carbonate compensation depth. The implications of fecal transfer to paleontology and geochemistry may be of the greatest importance.

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