The scans of the pterosaur coprolites revealed many microscopic food remains including foraminifera
(small amoeboid protists with external shells), small shells of marine invertebrates and possible remains of polychaete worms.
Meyer was looking for other tiny objects -- the shells of single-celled organisms known as benthic foraminifera
-- when he noticed the translucent glassy balls, smaller than grains of salt.
Meyer, who now works as an assistant professor of Earth systems science at the Harrisburg University in Pennsylvania, was looking for the shells of single-celled organisms called benthic foraminifera
when he noticed the translucent glassy balls that are smaller than the grains of salt.
Keywords: Cretaceous; Planktonic foraminifera
; biostratigraphy; Globotruncana ventricosa; Parh Limestone; Sulaiman Fold-Thrust Belt.
In the last decades, Foraminifera
have been widely used as a proxy to describe coastal environments (Frontalini & Coccioni, 2007; Frontalini et al., 2009; Laut et al., 2011; Martins et al., 2013, 2015, 2016a, 2016b; Nesbitt et al., 2015).
Skeletal grains of brachiopods, codiacean green algae, crinoids and few benthic foraminifera
are present in MF4 (Fig.
The sediment in the cores was deposited in the Gulf from rivers in North and Central America and contained preserved microorganisms known as foraminifera
, which can provide data on temperature and salinity--both of which affect the strength of ocean currents.
, palynomorphs, ostracods, and echinoderm spicles including bivalves and their moulds were recorded from the fossiliferous intervals.
The inorganic constituents described  are: (i) calcite of foraminifera
shells and fine-grained matrix, (ii) authigenic quartz filling the chambers of some foraminifera
, composing tests of siliceous algae (supposed), and very limited detrital quartz, (iii) phosphate in pellets, intraclasts, bone, teeth, and coprolites of carbonate fluorapatite, clay minerals thought to be detrital in origin, (iv) pyrite as filling the chambers of shells and voids.