Friday, March 21, 2014

Pine Beach, Alabama, 2002

An unusual storm windrow mostly made out of favreinid fecal pellets. Only time I've ever seen this on the beach, though I have seen one in a rock core more than 100 million years old.*

The windrow was quite extensive. It consisted almost entirely of fecal pellets of callianassid burrowing shrimp. This green-gray blanket was deposited by Tropical Storm Isidore. How did the stormsort out just these soft & fragile cylindrical pellets?

*West Appleton oil field, Jurassic Smackover Formation, samples from a couple of miles underground.


Anonymous said...

So are these contemporary fecal pellets, or coprolites? (gives self high-five for spontaneously remembering "coprolite")

David Kopaska-Merkel said...

Good job! Contemporary. I've seen quite a few much like them in Jurassic rocks from similar environments.