Welcome to our virtual coprolite exhibition, 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 (kop-ruh-lahyt), comes from the Greek words Kopros Lithos, meaning “dung stone”. Coprolites are the fossilized dung of animals. Most coprolites are composed of phosphates, calcium, 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 prehistoric creature originally pooped the coprolite specimen. However, many coprolites resemble modern feces. 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.
"Barnum" the T. rex dinosaur poop was certified by Guinness World Records as the largest coprolite by a carnivore in 2020.
This exhibit features coprolites with inclusions. The most common coprolite inclusions are bones, scales, teeth, and plant fragments.
This exhibit features coprolites from various geographical areas with teeth inclusions.
This exhibit features coprolites with distinct bite marks or feeding traces.
This exhibit features coprolites in matrix - the sedimentary rock or mass that that has formed around fossilized feces.
This exhibit features coprolites from the State of Wyoming, USA.
This exhibit features coprolites from the State of South Carolina, USA.
This exhibit features coprolites from the State of Florida, USA.
This exhibit features coprolites from the Moroccan deserts of northern Africa.
This exhibit 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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