Hyena hegemony: biogeography and taphonomy of Pleistocene vertebrate coprolites with description of a new mammoth coprolite ichnotaxon
In 1822, William Buckland first recognized Pleistocene vertebrate coprolites, and they are now known from more multiple localities with a global distribution. Carnivore coprolites dominate, and there are two distinct biogeographic and taphonomic provinces for vertebrate coprolites in the Pleistocene. The Castrocopros province of North and South America is characterized by a dominance of herbivore coprolites, which are preserved almost exclusively in caves. The Hyaenacoprus province in Africa, Europe and Asia is dominated by hyena coprolites that occur mainly in caves, but also in other depositional environments. Pacific Islands may represent a third province characterized by dominant bird coprolites from caves, but the known localities are all Holocene. Mammuthocopros allenorum ichnogen. and ichnosp. nov. is a coprolite of Mammuthus columbi from Utah, USA.