Carnivore Coprolite with Feeding Traces

Talk About an Ick No!
Inclusions: 
Fish scales
Composition: 
Location: 
Quay County , NM
United States
New Mexico US

This coprolite was deposited during the Late Triassic Period in what is now the badlands of eastern Quay County, New Mexico. Because it was found in the Bull Canyon Formation, we know it's producer lived in lush floodplain environment. Undigested scales suggest fish was on the menu for the coprolite creator.

Now, what about those marks on the surface? Were they made by claws or teeth? My best guess is that they are feeding traces. Were they left by the teeth of a small animal who snatched up a bug as it was feeding on the fresh fecal matter? Or had it been nestled in soft sediment beneath the water's surface when a scavenging fish came along to feed on a bit of algae that began to form on it's surface? So many possibilities, and so few answers!

This amazing coprolite, along with many of the others in my collection, was found by Larry Martin.