Dinosaur Dung (Coprolite)
Scientifically speaking, coprolites are fossilized poop. Over millions of years, minerals, such as chalcedony and quartz, replaced the original organic material. This process creates a rich, colorful matrix that allows us to study the diet and lifestyle of long-extinct creatures.
This specimen is a fragment of agatized coprolite from the Morrison Formation in Utah. The specimens vary in size and color, pictured here are two samples that are around roughly 1" (2.5cm) in size. The specimen comes inside a classic, glass-topped riker display case measuring 4 1/2" x 3 1/2". A small information card is also enclosed.
More About Dinosaur Dung
"The Mesozoic trend to sauropod gigantism led to the evolution of immense microbial vats unequalled in modern land animals."
~ David M.Wilkinson, University of Lincoln (2012)
Coprolites can come from reptiles, dinosaurs, and even ancient mammals. Depending on their origin, coprolites may contain a variety of minerals such as phosphorus and calcium. Scientists use these trace fossils to help identify the species responsible for the droppings and to learn more about their diet.
This specimen is a fragment of agatized coprolite from the Morrison Formation in Utah. One of the most studied fossil beds of the upper Jurassic Period, the region was once home to a large floodplain ecosystem 150,000,000 years ago. Coprolites of this size are typically attributed to sauropods.