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Coprolites of Man

Coprolites of Man

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Published by: Cromiron on Feb 29, 2012
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07/11/2013

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T COPROT OF M
Archaeologists av unated fossi uman es at range in gero
e, ud
t 3,
yeas. nls
f
er oen syielding iomto o pistoc die iot ad beaior
by Vn
M
Bryn r nd nn WD
T
he hm o eco  ho s, bt t oe oe  oe oformto bo behvo ht ot vlble to toe who t the oils o,   Wee cotovor the presvto o orgc trchaeologis reqetl cove esiccad m ece  o e pehtoiccamps  wellg Objet o tiki kow o pleooogst  coproits, re t como mog he emais o im ode th m at, some sdimet ock cosstargl o he  pellet o cei ie mls These cit coprols,hovr, have beom ptR, whihmaks it virtall mpossible o alhir origial orgic coet Suhalsis ca ow be ouly udrak ih hma cproli,thaks tolaboao thiqs velopd  thpast da Aalsis of coprols agg  ge rom the midde Plolihiprod to lae prhisori tims s provdig holar wih mrkabl piRcevi o he dis d sasoal atiiis of arl urs d farmrs iboh he Old orld ad h NThe exavat  h R ma b ubl o isigush bt he oprolis of ma d hos of oth malsbt aboror aasis s t s prcdtod lmost alas ilds  ortdtiRaio The k sp  th procdure, pored i h 196' b hl ric O Call of Madoald Cllg  Caada, s he mmrsio of thepm   dlute oluio o trisodim phosphe I the Ahpoogiasarh Lboraoris o Txas A&MUivrsi, hre  hav do ms oou o ok, e immrs h spior  miimum f

hours f th pi origad ih a omioros ocarvoro mammal h id usualemais trslu if  is olrd a h colo   pale bro If th
 
pecme orgte wt  hebvoomml the d  tct ometme ellowh I the pecm s  hm g, the  s opqe adk bow o blck O oe malohe t  the coolke cotmd  kow to leve ec that givee o  ml checl ectoI the e o he ctio re oocve, the tp re lmost crt to spe oubt The sampe pased thrgh  2esh bs shich pss prtice mllr th mcros,  th hrogh  1mshee whih pss ptes smalrtha 10 mros At bo tgs th red matl  getl washd ihistilld wtr so th  R parlsuh  plat polle tht ti dhre othe rg bs  also pass hroughthe sh The old sidus trppd oboh sr re drid d prpad forxamiatio dr he mirosop hiqud o  crigd to lltpoll grai, plat csals d oh mll object t cotSe he hma det chrrisal cosis of both plt d mal matrl, d sce hum beigs have fort last   llo y prosshi food by e, the old esidu trevd by g cde marialsfrom a we vrt o ours li b o chacol pke p  thorse of cookg thre may be platRbr, crake o milled ds hirs adragm  boe, tsll eggshllollsk shll, eahrs d he hr patof ss A e of these mals mab prst  ohuma oprols, buh h ar foud i grat vari thspim is lmos ceti humMorovr,  he spcm poll t is ak o co, h possibiliof ofusio b  huma sourd  ohuma oe ca be sil furhrddI pcple t  posble to gle romch me omti ot ol bouthe iy pefeee o gop ddividals bt lso bot  divdl' ae o helt (s ie b thpresce o bsce o pasies boutechique o ood peparaio, bout sasos o h ar h  sie ashabi  bot otmporary iromal odiios  praie mso h formaio cors diar prfers ad sasoal ativiis Fo xp, pll aalsis rals that som2 ars ago h Arhi dias ofsouhsr Txas od d cosud h ors of a ubr of srtad smisrt plas hh hrs r sukd o h fo har hy oaid, re brd tota or r put o slds  more diut o drmi prhaps hy rosumd i ll thee Ss h  hd tst, o out oathat sists digsio A tst o e ragm of oe sl has  haracrsic shape r re patr thtmaks i possible to ti th platfami ad prhps the g ad speis A xmple o edagmt lysis hat llumiad ciet foodprparatio hiqs s Cll tdy oopol fom Tehc  te  exo tha mbras some 12, ear oN Worl prhisor Som o the rgms of millt ss Cll ecvereshod vi of hig, dictghat h grai ha bee prp bypoudig Ohr ragmet hod ev o spig icg th thegrai ha b ppae ot b poig bu b big rolled bak d oto a s
metae.
 ourss gatherd trsig formai o ehqe o od peraio i  sdy o copolte o roshl  othwete TexFragms o causee tet  pec
 © 1974 SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, INC
 
GRAINS OF POLLEN rom mequie
left)
nd prickyper u
(right
re epreenive of inecorne pon found in ncn coproe. ee cnning eecron mcrogrp, mde in eWDBON NS re rrd r   ourgrnedur o c pon
lt)
 o gr o   orgumJ gr
i.
 re rv rg 4500 elecronmicrocope cnr   A&M Uivr re rpc tivey enrged 310 nd 35 mr. o gr r mor;ey re rom e uor' cocon of pe or r250 r   g r rgr r pon re rc n   o prr oor r r rg         r

 © 1974 SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, INC
 
FISH CALES, like the scales of rptile, make u  class o animal eais tat pas through the alitary caal unaltered. This sunshale, beaig a atten of gowth rig, is elaged
175
diameters.EATHER ae ls little changed  the digestv roce;the atten of thei barbules often identies the seces of bid.hi spemen is  chike feather enlarged
50
diameters.
ms from ve o the ght strata at thsit shod that the cactus ss hab prpard for atg b hrpudg or grdg Th sd tsts ofothr plats, partclarl mllt agoosfoot,re charrd, idatg thatth sds had ot b mill but oastd. a coprolte sd tsts a ubrokh a sd s ot ts aluas a food, t ma still b it hoh the frt o  lat is at s arslt t has b possibl to mstrate that th dt of prhsto htsad farmrs at a umbr of sts  tN World cldd suh oo ms aschili ppprs, grapes, tomatos aasblackbrris ad squashs
sbtlr orm of dta ,usuall cod o rgos hrthe groud atr s rh i dssolvdmrals, is the htolth, r plat crstal. Ulk amals, plats aot excre the orgac subsas  theratr suppl.The calcium ad silcothat are tak  alog ith groud atr are dpositd  th plat tssue icrstlle form, most oft as salts ofcalcm ad ahdrds of silica Thorm o  prtclar crsal s ot suall ssocatd t ao plat scsNethless, e ve oud, i the

course o xamg the phtoliths plats of the same famil or gs thagro  sothstr Txas,crtacrstals that hav simlar forms For xampl, h crstals of calcium oxalatthat appar  four spcs of th prklpar cacts
(Opunia)
are quit smlar apparace. Frthrmor, oe phlth is spcsspcc. t s a rhombodalcrstal that is foud ol i th issu ofoe spcs of agav,
Agav lchguila[s ilustraion on ag
1].
dtiato of thes crstals has abld usto dmostrat that svral idivdualsamog th succssio of Archaic dash vistd th rockshltr i southstr Texas had at prcklparcactus ad agae, ev thogh the corolts  hich the crstals re fodid ot cotai dtabl brs, sdsor poll from th latsformato s of cours provid baima matral as ll as plat marialFor xampl, at o site  NvaaLoelk Cav, Lis

Napto aO A Brutt of th Uvrsit of Califoria at Brkl r abl to dtifthe various spcis of arfol ha thoccupats had at from a ivsga·to of th fragmts of feathrs thfoud  oprolits The local dit hadcluddthe r, the grb, the muh ad the goose. I or o alssof matrials from the Texas rockshltre hav rcogd various amal rmas, cludig fragms of grasshopprs ad othr scts, ad e bos osmall mammals, rptils ad shs
selustation on pag
1].
Wh the pr is larg, for xampldr or bis, butchrig ad cookpractics ar likel to mim thchac that bos or bo frgmts llbgstd Almost ivitabl, hovr,a fe ars ill ahr o he mat adill  sallod W have roghar from o small mammal, the lmous,  som rokshltr coprolitsad  have ev rcovrd such smigl prishabl tms f aimal matrl as isct larvae.Stll aothr kd of amal matialmaks its a through th almtaat largl ualr th scals ofss ad rtls h to kds osal ca b told apart thout gatdicult Fis sals sho a pattr ofcoctr groth rgs ad ar grall roudd tl scals hav ogroth rgs ad ar oft potd aoe d Udr idal crumstacs,a th a adquat rfrc cllcto or purposs of compariso, moreca be lard ha smpl hhr a
 © 1974 SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, INC

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