Dinosaur Coprolites and the Early Evolution of Grasses and Grazers

  title={Dinosaur Coprolites and the Early Evolution of Grasses and Grazers},
  author={Vandana Prasad and Caroline A. E. Str{\"o}mberg and Habib Alimohammadian and Ashok Sahni},
  pages={1177 - 1180}
Silicified plant tissues (phytoliths) preserved in Late Cretaceous coprolites from India show that at least five taxa from extant grass (Poaceae) subclades were present on the Indian subcontinent during the latest Cretaceous. This taxonomic diversity suggests that crown-group Poaceae had diversified and spread in Gondwana before India became geographically isolated. Other phytoliths extracted from the coprolites (from dicotyledons, conifers, and palms) suggest that the suspected dung producers… 

Dinosaur-associated Poaceae epidermis and phytoliths from the Early Cretaceous of China

The discovery of basalmost grasses from the late Early Cretaceous of China based on microfossils extracted from a special structure along the dentition of a basal hadrosauroid (duck-billed dinosaur) represents the earliest known grass fossils, and is congruent with previous estimations on grass origin and early evolution calibrated by oldest known fossil grasses.

Phytolith Analysis from Coprolites of Pilauco

Phytolith remains evidenced mainly the presence of C3 grasses from the Poaceae family, which is in accordance with previous pollen analysis at Pilauco, and two out of the four coprolite samples analyzed likely correspond to Equus (andium).

Did dinosaurs have any relation with dung‐beetles? (The origin of coprophagy)

The hypothesis that coprophagy in dung‐beetles has been associated, since it began, with mammals is proposed.

Graminids from Eocene Baltic amber

Microflora from sauropod coprolites and associated sediments of Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) Lameta Formation of Nand-Dongargaon basin, Maharashtra

Data suggest that the sauropods ate soft tissues of angiosperms and gymnosperms, and the intake of testate amoeba, algal remains, sponge spicules, and diatoms might be through water intake.


  • K. Chin
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 2007
The most parsimonious explanation for the high fecal wood content is that the coprolite producers consumed decomposing wood to capitalize on resources released by fungal attack, along with the tissues of the decomposers and associated invertebrate detritivores.

Calcium Phosphate Preservation of Faecal Bacterial Negative Moulds in Hyaena Coprolites

Ulastructural SEM and TEM studies revealed three successive phases of preservation, including an initial phase of mineralisation that produced microspherulites within a very fine-grained cement, which indicates that most of the calcium phosphate present in the coprolites precipitated rapidly, which in turn facilitated the formation of negative moulds of faecal bacteria within theCoprolite matrix.

Prehistorical climate change increased diversification of a group of butterflies

It is suggested that the adaptive radiation of grass feeders in Satyrini has been facilitated by the ubiquitousness of grasses since 25 Myr ago, which was triggered by a change in global climate.

Evidence of frugivory and seed dispersal in Oligocene tortoises from South Dakota

Abstract Fossilized hackberry (Celtis) seeds were found within the shells of two Stylemys individuals excavated from Oligocene sediments from South Dakota. The presence of in situ skeletal elements



Dinosaurs, dung beetles, and conifers; participants in a Cretaceous food web

Late Cretaceous trace fossils from the Two Medicine Formation of Montana are interpreted as herbivorous dinosaur feces reworked by scarabaeine dung beetles. These irregular blocks of comminuted plant

Fungi in dinosaurian (Isisaurus) coprolites from the Lameta Formation (Maastrichtian) and its reflection on food habit and environment

On the basis of epiphyllous fungi it is postulated that the dinosaurs lived in a tropical-subtropical climate.

Decoupled taxonomic radiation and ecological expansion of open-habitat grasses in the Cenozoic of North America.

  • C. Strömberg
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2005
Data from 99 Eocene to Miocene phytolith assemblages from the North American continental interior, constituting the only high-resolution mid-Cenozoic record of grasses, show that open-habitat grasses had undergone considerable taxonomic diversification by the earliest Oligocene but that they did not become ecologically dominant in North America until 7-11 million years later.

Did dinosaurs invent flowers? Dinosaur—angiosperm coevolution revisited

  • P. BarrettK. Willis
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
  • 2001
It is concluded that there are no strong spatiotemporal correlations in support of the hypothesis that dinosaurs were causative agents in the origin of angiosperms; however, dinosaur–angiosperm interactions in the Late Cretaceous may have resulted in some coevolutionary interactions, although direct evidence of such interactions is scanty at present.

Cosmopolitanism among Gondwanan Late Cretaceous mammals

The occurrence of a highly specialized and distinctive group of extinct mammals, the Sudamericidae (Gondwanatheria), in the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar and India is reported, which is the first evidence of gondwanatheres outside South America and the first indication of cosmopolitanism among Late CRETaceous Gondwanan mammals.

New Late Cretaceous mammals from the Intertrappean beds of Rangapur, India and paleobiogeographic framework

A new mammal−bearing locality from the Intertrappean beds (Maastricthian) of Rangapur, Andhra Pradesh, India pro− vides isolated teeth referable to Deccanolestes and a new eutherian, Sahnitherium

Phylogeny and subfamilial classification of the grasses (Poaceae)

A large collaborative effort has yiel(led a comprehensive study of the phylogeny and a new suhfanilial classification of the grass family (Poaceae/Graminieae) and 1 new subfamily (Danthonioideae) is proposed.