Discovery of prehistoric vomit in an unlikely place!

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Discovery of prehistoric vomit in an unlikely place!

Researchers have found bromalites, fossilized remains from the digestive system of a prehistoric animal. This discovery was made during an excavation in the southeastern part of Utah of the Morrison formation, in 2018. This geological formation dates from the late Jurassic (164 million to 145 million years) and covers a large part of the western United States. It’s a real fossil hotbed.

Prehistoric vomiting
Credit: ScienceAlert

Hundreds of millions of years ago, a carnivorous creature eaten by prehistoric amphibians, and then vomited up his feast. Today, paleontologists have analyzed the contents of this prehistoric vomit, and published their findings.

A one-of-a-kind discovery

Local paleontologists have specially nicknamed this area “Jurassic salad bar”. Normally, this site does not contain animal fossils, only plants and other organic matter. These are the first bones discovered in this place. As soon as Utah Geologic Survey (UGS) researchers found these vomit remains, measuring 1 square centimeter, they knew they had stumbled upon something special.

“What struck us was this small concentration of animal bones in a relatively tiny area. »

John Foster, curator at the State Park Museum Utah Field House of Natural History in Vernal

At first, the team was unaware that they had found prehistoric vomit. She thought they were the bones of a single creature. However, she noticed that some of these bones looked fake and weren’t from a single salamander. The in-depth examination revealed that the majority of the materials are derived from a frog and at least one salamander. Only then did scientists think it was predator vomit.

A vomit containing bones of several unidentified species

This vomit contains amphibian bones, including the femurs of a frog and a salamander. The researchers also identified vertebrae from other unidentified species. The study revealed nearly a dozen lumps of bone debris, as well as a matrix of fossilized soft tissue. Unlike coprolites (fossil excrement), regurgitation is not fully digested. This is why it is a bromalite, also called regurgitalite.

Numerous regurgitations have already been discovered in the world. However, Foster said the find is the first in Morrison’s training. There is no way to know precisely the species from which this vomit originated, nor the reasons for this vomiting. However, additional examinations would determine other components of the animals that the predator ate.


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