Why is there shit in its head?

2022-06-20 0 By

Scientists have seen animal skulls and dung.But animals can’t help but get excited when poop appears in their skulls…Writing | chestnuts review | Clefable there is a small fish, lived about 10.5 million years to 7.5 million years ago.When scientists found it off the coast of Maryland, it was already a fossil.If anything, this little fish was different from other fossilized animals, it was that its brain was stuffed with feces.Scientists have never seen anything like it before.But they were pretty sure that the faeces from the fish’s brain were not its own.Which begs the question, who could it be, and why is it in a fish’s skull?This fish is from the Family Astroscopus Countermani.The reason for its good name is that the two eyes are on the top of the head, as if you can see the stars without looking up.But now, the species is extinct.The species in this article is extinct, but there are other species in the same family, such as the spotted star 䲢 (Astroscopus guttatus) (Canvasman21 via Wikicommons), off the coast of Maryland.There, the 35-mile (more than 50-kilometer) Stretch of Calvert Cliffs has long been rich in ancient fossils.Dr. Stephen Godfrey of the Calvert Marine Museum is a curator of paleontology and a researcher.Instead of destroying the fish’s skull, he and his colleagues imaged it using spectroscopic equipment.As a result, the team found dense clusters of tiny particles where the brain used to be. Each particle was about 1 to 5 millimeters long and 0.4 to 2 millimeters wide, with a ratio of nearly 2:1 in length and width, all of uniform shape and size.Although this was the first time scientists had seen such a scene in a skull, they did have an impression of the similar particles and arrangement.Because, at Calvert Cliff, they also found mineral clumps, and the tiny particles on those clumps were excrement.Coprolite, to be more precise.Coprolites are distinct from paleofeces.The ancient feces retained a lot of organic components;Coprolites, by contrast, are usually composed mainly of inorganic salts, such as phosphates, silicates, carbonates, and so on, especially calcium phosphate.According to Dr Godfrey, spectrographic analysis showed that particles in the fish’s skull had higher concentrations of calcium and phosphate, common ingredients in coprolites.That, combined with the recognizable shape of the particles, led scientists to believe that it was the feces that invaded the fish’s cranium.So, who left all that poop?The team speculates that scavengers may have crawled into the fish’s head after it died and discharged its excrement.The fish’s skull was only a few centimeters wide, and the suspect that could have left tiny fecal particles in such a confined space was probably a petite, soft invertebrate, like a worm.Millions of years ago, such critters would have been eating rotting flesh on the fish’s heads, leaving little oval droppings there as well.Although each droplet is small, every little makes a difference.By the time it’s finished eating, there are probably hundreds of pieces of faeces filling the fish’s skull, replacing the fish’s brain.For years, scientists almost always sensed the existence of these scavengers from coprolites.Fossils that record biological activity, such as excrement or footprints, rather than the remains themselves, are known as “relic fossils,” and many scientists use these clues to classify and name creatures they have never met.Combining previous research, the team behind the new paper believes that the coprolites in the fish’s skull belonged to a relic species called Coprulus Oblongus, which was named as early as 1952.Until now, however, no one has probably seen the animal in real life.Nevertheless, that little fish will be remembered by many as “the first vertebrate known to have had a brain in shit.”Traces of a dung eater?The fish’s skull was well preserved, as was the feces that filled it.That’s rare, and it also means that after scavengers have filled the fish’s skull with dung, there may not be another round of animals feeding into the fish’s head.So the poop doesn’t get eaten?Not necessarily.In addition to the tiny fecal particles, scientists have found even larger coprolites in the Calvert cliff area.And these feces as a fossil remains, not only reflect the fact that its owner once existed, but also show the traces of other animals visiting.One coprolites, for example, reached a maximum length of 178 millimeters (nearly 20 centimeters), but it was bent at an Angle of about 90 degrees.And where it turned, there was a hole about 15 millimeters in diameter.If you open it up, you’ll see that the hole is a cylindrical space with little variation in width, and twists and turns as you go deeper.In addition, the cave walls and coprolites also have small marks of excavation.Based on the size of the coprolite, the team thinks it probably belonged to a Miocene crocodile from an extinct genus, Thecachampsa, whose crocodile fossils were also present nearby.However, the wide “tunnel” is unique and rare among coprolites found in the past, and scientists believe it was made by an unknown animal.The best suspects, then, are some dung eaters, like the dung beetle, as we know it, or some types of flies that eat dung.Of course, it’s also possible that there’s an animal that burrows in the dung to make room for itself.That will have to wait for future scientists to study more coprolites and dig out more conclusive facts.At this point, you might wonder when scientists started studying coprolites.In 1824, a fossil hunter named Mary Anning found a strange object in the belly of the ichthyosaur skeleton and called it a “Bezoar stone.”By 1829, geologist William Buckland suggested that the fossilized objects were actually animal feces.Everything, then began.The original papers: https://riviste.unimi.it/index.php/RIPS/article/view/17064 reference links: HTTPS:/ / onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/spp2.1297https:/ / arstechnica.com/science/2022/02/this-fossilized-fishs-skull-is-filled-with-feces/https:/ / www.livescience.com/fossil-fish-brain-worm-poopshttps://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/04/science/fish-brain-feces-fossils.html