Modelagem 3-D de fezes fossilizadas de 230 milhões de anos

terça-feira, junho 13, 2017

Synchrotron phase-contrast microtomography of coprolites generates novel palaeobiological data

Martin Qvarnström, Grzegorz Niedźwiedzki, Paul Tafforeau, Živil Žigaitė & Per E. Ahlberg

Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 2723 (2017)

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3-D reconstruction Imaging Palaeontology X-ray tomography

Received: 03 February 2017 Accepted: 19 April 2017

Published online: 02 June 2017


Coprolites (fossil faeces) reveal clues to ancient trophic relations, and contain inclusions representing organisms that are rarely preserved elsewhere. However, much information is lost by classical techniques of investigation, which cannot find and image the inclusions in an adequate manner. We demonstrate that propagation phase-contrast synchrotron microtomography (PPC-SRμCT) permits high-quality virtual 3D-reconstruction of coprolite inclusions, exemplified by two coprolites from the Upper Triassic locality Krasiejów, Poland; one of the coprolites contains delicate beetle remains, and the other one a partly articulated fish and fragments of bivalves.


The coprolites were scanned at the ESRF (Grenoble, France) as a part of the proposal ES145. We are grateful to Rolf G. Beutel (Institute of Systematic Zoology and Evolutionary Biology with Phyletic Museum at Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany), Evgeny V. Yan (Paleontological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow), and Alexander G. Ponomarenko (Paleontological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow) for helping us with the descriptions of the beetle elytra and the insect tibia. We are also thankful to Tomasz Sulej (Institute of Paleobiology at the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw) for allowing us access to the specimens, as well as to Daniel Snitting and Sophie Sanchez (both at the Evolutionary Biology Center at Uppsala University, Sweden) for valuable advice and comments, especially concerning the segmentation of the data. Thanks to Paula Dentzien-Dias and two anonymous reviewers whose comments improved the final version of the paper.

Author information


Department of Organismal Biology, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18A, 752 36, Uppsala, Sweden

Martin Qvarnström, Grzegorz Niedźwiedzki, Živil Žigaitė & Per E. Ahlberg
European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, 71 avenue des Martyrs, CS40200, 38043, Grenoble, France

Paul Tafforeau


M.Q., G.N., Ž.Ž. and P.E.A. designed the project. P.E.A. suggested the idea of synchrotron tomography. P.T. performed the scanning and made the reconstructions, with support by M.Q. and Ž.Ž. during the scan session. M.Q. segmented the data and drafted the first version of the manuscript, which G.N., Ž.Ž. commented on, and P.E.A. modified. P.T. commented on the modified manuscript and all authors commented and approved the final version of the manuscript.

Competing Interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Martin Qvarnström.

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