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Termite coprolites (Insecta: Isoptera) from the Cretaceous of western France : A palaeoecological insight

Abstract : This paper presents fossil faecal pellets - also named coprolites or frass - attributed to termites, which were found in amber and lignitic clay from the Wealden (Hauterivian-Barremian?), Late Albian and Early Cenomanian of south-western France. These coprolites have a characteristic subcylindrical shape and hexagonal transverse section and are assignable to Microcarpolithes hexagonalis Vangerow. The termite families that possibly produced these coprolites are discussed. The noticeable lack of termite attacks on the fossil wood associated with amber and lignitic clay is taphonomically analyzed in relation with the palaeoflora and palaeoclimate of these amber forests. The different medium where coprolites were found (amber, wood, sediments) suggests that primitive Cretaceous termites had already developed various biologies, such as wood or cryptic foraging, but probably not yet soil-feeding.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-00627015
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Submitted on : Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - 3:20:02 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 29, 2020 - 4:48:54 PM

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Jean-Paul Colin, Didier Neraudeau, André Nel, Vincent Perrichot. Termite coprolites (Insecta: Isoptera) from the Cretaceous of western France : A palaeoecological insight. Revue de Micropaléontologie, Elsevier Masson, 2011, 54 (3), pp.129-139. ⟨10.1016/j.revmic.2011.06.001⟩. ⟨insu-00627015⟩

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