Zooplankton Fecal Pellets Link Fossil Fuel and Phosphate Deposits

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  22 May 1981:
Vol. 212, Issue 4497, pp. 931-933
DOI: 10.1126/science.212.4497.931


Fossil zooplankton fecal pellets found in thinly bedded marine and lacustrine black shales associated with phosphate, oil, and coal deposits, link the deposition of organic matter and biologically associated minerals with planktonic ecosystems. The black shales were probably formed in the anoxic basins of coastal marine waters, inland seas, and rift valley lakes where high productivity was supported by runoff, upwelling, and outwelling.