From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Bromalites are the fossilised remains of material sourced from the digestive system of organisms. As such, they can be broadly considered to be trace fossils. The most well-known types of bromalites are fossilised faeces or coprolites. However, other types are recognised, including: regurgitalites (fossilised remains of vomit or other regurgitated objects such as owl pellets); cololites (intestinal contents); and gastrolites (stomach contents). Regurtitalites and coprolites are thus essentially known only after they have left the body of the producing organisms, whereas gastrolites and cololites are only found in situ in their respective organs.

Whilst coprolites and regurgitalites are often difficult to tie to a specific producer, all bromalites potentially provide important and sometimes unique evidence concerning diet and other trophic factors. They are thus useful indicators for reconstructing ancient food webs in palaeoecology.


Shelton, C. D. (2013). "A new method to determine volume of bromalites: Morphometrics of Lower Permian (Archer City Formation) heteropolar bromalites". Swiss Journal of Palaeontology 132 (2): 221. doi:10.1007/s13358-013-0057-z.  Aldridge, R. J.; Gabbott, S. E.; Siveter, L. J.; Theron, J. N. (2006). "Bromalites from the Soom Shale Lagerstätte (Upper Ordovician) of South Africa: Palaeoecological and palaeobiological implications". Palaeontology 49 (4): 857. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2006.00570.x.