Monday, January 09, 2006

Ode to the Coprolite.

I rarely discuss geology, but when I do, it tends to be interesting to most of you. The best gift Elle gave me this Christmas is a Coprolite. If you go to the links, you will see that coprolites are fosilized dung. Now what would we use fosilized dung for? It gives us a general picture of the eating habits of the various animals that are around during the time of deposition of the given rocks. Some coprolites you wouldn't know what they were, but some look like this:

This looks bad, doesn't it? Let's take a closer look.

As far as I can tell, there are seed pods or some other bean-like structure in the coprolite, indicating a herbivore of some kind deposited this. However, being that details do not often show up in rocks unless they are wet, let me find the nearest water source so we can have a more detailed look.

OK, so that whole setup was just an excuse to put a picture of me licking fosilized poo up on my blog. However, those who live near me will need to see the coprolite, touch the coprolite, but licking it is purely optional.

Even with all the fun and games, this trace fossil is fascinating and definitely deserves to be displayed under the rear end of a fossil of a smaller herbivorous dinosaur.

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