Coprolites


Description: Coprolites are fossilized feces, which can range from sand-sized pellets made by invertebrates (typically just called pellets by sedimentary petrologists when encountered in thin section) to the large, lump-like masses left by dinosaurs. Coprolites are extremely valuable trace fossils for interpreting paleodiet of organisms. The study of modern feces is colloquially called "scatology" by trackers and naturalists and is very useful for indirect estimates of animal populations and their ecology in terrestrial environments.

Age: ?Jurassic
Formation: ?Morrison
Location: Utah, USA
Collector: Lowentor Museum of Natural History, Stuttgart, Germany
Photographer: A. J. Martin
Comments: This coprolite has been interpreted as a product of a sauropod because of its large size (about 40 cm diameter from what I recall).

Age:
Formation:
Location:
Collector:
Photographer: A. J. Martin
Comments: Although I do not have any further information on this specimen, the presence of some bone material in the coprolite indicates either a carnivore or omnivore, probably mammalian, was the trace maker. I showed this specimen to a tracker who really enjoyed applying his interpretive skills to "scat" that did not have any unpleasant odors associated with it.

Back to Trace Fossil Images Page

Back to Main ENVS Page