Welcome to our virtual coprolite exhibit, where you’ll find a wealth of information about some of the specimens in our rich holdings. We hope this information will inspire you to explore this fascinating subject matter further.
The word “coprolite” comes from the Greek words Kopros Lithos, meaning “dung stone”. Basically coprolites are very old pieces of poop that have become fossilized over a very long time. Most coprolites are composed of calcium phosphates, silicates, and a small amount of organic matter. Coprolites come in a variety of shapes and sizes and they have been discovered on every continent on earth. These special little time capsules provide direct links to prehistoric animal diets, behaviors, and environments.
It is difficult to determine what ancient creature originally pooped the coprolite specimen. However, many prehistoric coprolites resemble modern feces. This helps Paleoscatologists (people who study very old poop) guess what prehistoric creature made the poop. Scientists and fossil enthusiasts have discovered coprolites that can be traced to tyrannosaurids, crocodilians, sharks, fish, termites, shrimp, and even humans. Lastly, coprolites smell like rocks - not poop!
We routinely update the galleries shown here, so check back frequently.
This gallery features coprolites with inclusions. The most common coprolite inclusions are bones, scales, teeth, and plant fragments.
This gallery features coprolites from various geographical areas with mostly shark-teeth inclusions.
This gallery features coprolites with distinct bite marks or feeding traces.
This gallery features coprolites in matrix - the sedimentary rock or mass that that has formed around fossilized feces.
This gallery features coprolites from the State of Wyoming, USA.
This gallery features coprolites from the State of South Carolina, USA.
This gallery features coprolites from the State of Florida, USA.
This gallery features coprolites from the Moroccan deserts of northern Africa.
This gallery features miscellaneous coprolites from all over the world.
Was it found near other fossilized material?
Does it look like a poop?
Does it contain bits of bones, scales, fins, teeth, or plants?
Does it have a high phosphorus content?
This is tested using X-ray Fluorescence.
Does it have invertebrate holes and burrows?
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