Coprolites containing plant material from the Carboniferous of Britain

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Coprolites containing plant material are described from the Middle Coal Measures (Westphalian B) of Swillington,near Leeds, West Yorkshire. Other possible coprolites from the lower Carboniferous (Calciferous Sandstone Series) of the Loch Humphrey Burn and Glenarbuck localities in the Kilpatrick Hills, Stathclyde, are also recorded. The Coal Measures specimens contain either lycopod megaspore fragments, indeterminate plant debris, or a large variety of microspores (attributable to Lycopsida, Sphenopsida, Pteropsida; Filicinae, Gymnospermae and Pteridospermae) whereas the Lower Carboniferous specimens consist mainly of rolled plant debris. It is suggested that these coprolites belong to animal litter feeders and are direct evidence of of animals eating vegetation in the Palaeozoic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-68
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1977


  • Coprolites
  • Coal Measures
  • Lower Carboniferous
  • lycopod megaspores
  • microspores
  • herbivory

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