By Professor Jean-Claude Gall (auth.)
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Additional info for Ancient Sedimentary Environments and the Habitats of Living Organisms: Introduction to Palaeoecology
They are characterised by an abnormal concentration of bone fragments or broken shell and by a high level of organic matter or phosphates. 40 Evidence of Biological Activity The coprolites of certain fish have a twisted shape which has been imposed on them by the spiral valvule of the intestine. Larger-sized examples have been attributed to the reptiles (Fig. 34). Hyena excrement lends itself particularly well to fossilisation because it is rich in calcium derived from bones ground up by these animals.
This environment is common at the bottom of the Black Sea, where the fauna is completely absent. V. Bathymetry The depth at which aquatic organisms can live is controlled by many factors, especially light and temperature which decrease rapidly as one goes down from the surface waters (Fig. 21). Chlorophyll-bearing plants and herbivorous animals are restricted to the photic zone (200 m). Below that, one finds carnivores, suspension feeders and detritus feeders. These animals are often blind (for example: deep water ostracodes).
Thus the information which they can give about the vegetation of ancient environments must be used carefully. 2. Eggs and Clutches When the eggs of oviparous organisms are protected against impact and desiccation by a resistant envelope, they have fossilisation potential. 36 Evidence of Biological Activity a) Invertebrate Eggs and Clutches F or over 100 years, small spherical objects, rich in phosphates and organic matter, which are abundant in Palaeozoic rocks, have been identified as trilobite eggs.
Ancient Sedimentary Environments and the Habitats of Living Organisms: Introduction to Palaeoecology by Professor Jean-Claude Gall (auth.)