March 9, 2018
If you ever get the chance to fossil hunting, don't just look for bones or teeth. Keep your eyes peeled for prehistoric poop! Coprolites are a kind of "trace fossil." Separate from "body" fossils, they provide clues to dinosaur behavior. Don't worry, the smell has long since drifted away! It might be hard to identify a coprolite, but these examples still have a fresh "look."
This coprolite was found in Nebraska, and has a full deer toe sticking out of it! What do you think, was it "deposited" by a carnivore or an herbivore?
Karen Chin, the scientist interviewed in our show, photographed this carnivore's Canadian coprolite (say that ten times fast).
Want to know more?
To see a photo of the coprolite Karen discussed in the show (and its mysterious crustaceans), check out this NPR story about her discovery.
What is it like to hunt for coprolites? Read this fun interview with "Paleontology Barbie" who counts Karen as one of her heroes!
This National Geographic article calls dino dung "Paleontology's Next Frontier!" What do you think?
For lots more photos and information about coprolites, visit the Poozeum (online). We're jealous we didn't think of this pun ourselves.
Still wondering if we have evidence of dinosaur "pee"? Paleontologists think we do! They're called "urolites."
We want to hear from you!
Imagine that paleontologists are searching for coprolites 76 million years from now. What do you think they'll be able to learn about our time? Let us know - through drawings, voice recordings, or videos - at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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